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My Heart Skips A Beat

Chapter 24

The next day, after lounging around Harry’s room in his t-shirt for the entire morning, I was forced to shower and get dressed. Eleanor and Danielle were coming over to pick me up to go out to lunch. I was ready a little early so Harry and I sat on the couch and turned on the TV to waste a little time.
We weren’t sitting there for 10 minutes, when there was a knock at the door.
“That must be the girls!” I said happily, jumping up and throwing the door open; but it wasn’t the girls. It was Zayn, Niall,
And Poppy.
“Hey there, Anna! I had NO idea you would be here!” Poppy said, pushing past me and inviting herself in.
“Uh. Hi, Poppy. I actually didn’t know you would be here either.” I said, trying to sound less annoyed than I was. I wasn’t usually like this, but something about this girl just got under my skin.
“Yeah well, Zayn invited me.” She plopped down on the couch next to Harry, right where I had been sitting.
There was another knock on the door, and I was thankful for the distraction. This time when I opened the door, it WAS Danielle and Eleanor, along with Louis and Liam.
“Hey guys!”
“Hey! You’re actually ready to go EARLY?!” Danielle said jokingly, pulling me in for a hug.
“Ha ha. You’re VERY funny.” I grabbed my bag from the table next to the door and was ready to go when I heard my name being called from behind me.
“Anna! Why don’t you take Poppy along with you?” I turned around to see Zayn looking at me from where he sat.
“Um-I-“I looked over at Eleanor and Danielle, desperate for some assistance. They both looked at me with wide eyes; clearly there was no way out of this one.
“Oh. Yeah, sure. Um, if you want to….” I said to Poppy. She had her skin-tight, jean-clad legs crossed, and her body turned towards Harry, which made me want to pull her hair out of her head.
“I would love to!” Poppy jumped up from the sofa and pranced over to the door, her heels clacking on the hardwood.
A little while later, the four of us were walking through the door of this diner El, Dani, and I always loved to go to. The booths were cracked and stuffing was coming out, the menus were old and barely legible, and the food was greasy; but it had the best grilled cheese in all of London.
We slid into a booth, one side with me and (thankfully) Danielle, and the other with Eleanor and Poppy. I didn’t even have to look at the menu to know what I wanted, so I just waited as Poppy scanned the list of things they served.
The waiter took all of our orders and finally it was Poppy’s turn.
“Um, do you happen to have anything organic? Like, a salad?” The man just scoffed and shook his head.
“I’ll just have a diet coke then.” She said, her lips pursed.
“That’s all you want? The food here is incredible.” I said.
“Yeah. I’d die before I ate any of this stuff. I’m actually thinking about going vegan.”
“Um, okay.” I said awkwardly.
The rest of the lunch consisted mostly of Eleanor, Danielle, and I trying to have normal conversation, and Poppy butting in with snide comments.
It couldn’t have ended fast enough.
We were about to leave the restaurant when, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a man in black carrying a huge camera.
“Shit.” I said under my breath.
“What?” Danielle asked.
“Photographers outside.” I said, averting my gaze from the windows so they didn’t know that I saw them.
“Damn it. Well, there’s not much we can do now. Let’s just go I guess.” She said, sliding her sunglasses on.
“Just um, follow us, Poppy.” Eleanor said. I may not really like the girl, but we all knew how difficult the paps could be. We weren’t just going to leave her hanging.
“I think can handle this.” Poppy managed to say in an equally confident and condescending tone.
“Um, I’m not really-“ But before Eleanor could finish, Poppy propped her huge sunglasses on top of her head, opened the glass door, and stepped outside.
Almost immediately, 5 or 6 paparazzo stood in front of us as we tried to navigate around the sidewalk.
How did they already know her name?
What the hell was going on?
“How do they-?”
“I have no idea.” Danielle said quickly, knowing exactly what I was thinking. The three of us walked as quickly as possible, leaving Poppy to pose and answer questions for about 5 minutes until she caught up to us and slid into the back of the cab that we had been waiting in.
“Sorry, loves! Those paps can be a handful, but you’ve just got to give them what they want. You’ll learn that eventually.” She giggled, patting me on the shoulder; which sort of made me want to scream. Who WAS this girl?
I didn’t dare ask, none of us did; because we all knew that that was exactly what she wanted.

The girls let themselves in, all of them except Poppy with strange looks on their faces.
“What’s wrong?” I asked Anna when she flopped down on the couch next to me.
“Nothing. I’ll just uh, ask you later.” I nodded, unsure of what she was talking about. Poppy threw off her jacket, revealing a pretty low-cut top and sitting down next to Zayn, kissing him forcefully. She leaned in and whispered something in his ear that made his face light up.
“Um, guys. We’re gonna get out of here. I’ll talk to you later.” He said quickly as Poppy practically dragged him out the front door.
“Okay. Can someone explain to me who the hell this Poppy Upton chick is?!” Danielle burst out.
“What do you mean?” Niall said, clearly confused.
“There were paps when we were leaving the restaurant and they ALL knew who she was. They were asking her questions about someone named Robbie… It was all too weird.”
“Pass me the laptop?” Liam asked Danielle, who grabbed it from the coffee table. He opened the Macbook, typing furiously.
‘Poppy Upton: London’s newest up-and-coming socialite was spotted out last night with One Direction’s resident bad boy, Zayn Malik.” He read.
“Hey, I thought I was the bad boy?!” Louis said with mock- anger. We all laughed, even with the strangeness of what we had just heard.
“Um, how have we never heard of this girl?” Anna asked.
“I don’t know about you, but I steer clear of all those magazines and websites. I can’t even turn on the TV without hearing a fake story about myself.” Liam said. Everyone else nodded.
“Good point.” Anna replied.
“Geez…” Liam mumbled, his eyes still on the computer screen.
“What?” I asked.
“She- well, she sort of gets around.” He said. Liam was the most cautious person I had ever met. He wouldn’t say anything mean about someone just for the sake of doing it. So I knew, for him to say that, it had to be true.
“Let me see!” Danielle said, grabbing the laptop from him.
“Oh my god!” Anna and Eleanor moved to either side of Dani so they could see.
“She dated MAX GEORGE!”
“Prick.” Niall fake-coughed out. We all laughed. As much as the press wanted it to be true, we didn’t hate The Wanted. We didn’t even know them, but that clearly didn’t stop us from joking about it endlessly.
“AND ALEX PETTYFER! Damn, this girl DOES get around.” Danielle said the last part under her breath.
I lost interest pretty quickly, mostly because I didn’t really care about what Poppy Upton wore to the latest Twilight movie’s London premier. Meanwhile, the girls continued their extensive research for a good 20 minutes before Niall, who also looked bored out of his mind, suggested we watch a movie. Bless his little Irish soul.

I was sitting in French class, focusing on conjugating in the reflexive, when something caught my eye. One of the girls in the row in front of me had a magazine tucked under her desk, most likely for when this pop quiz was over. Plastered on the cover, were pictures of Poppy and Zayn.
THE NEW HOT COUPLE SPOTTED ALL AROUND LONDON, GETTING PRETTY HOT AND HEAVY: Has this bad boy already fallen for London’s most notorious party girl?’
As if the headline weren’t bad enough, the picture was even worse. It was of the two of them, walking out of what I assumed was a club at night. Poppy had a huge smile on her overly made up face. Zayn had his arm around her, but was looking down at the ground.
It was pretty hard to focus on French with that picture practically taunting me from under this girl’s desk.

“Do you guys know who Poppy Upton is?” I asked Molly, Keenan, Olly, and Bryce later that night at dinner.
“Hell YES. She is SO. FUCKING. FIT!” Bryce said, practically jumping out of his seat.
“Okay, down boy.” I said, almost spitting out my drink.
“Why do you ask?” Molly said.
“Well uh. She’s Zayn’s new girlfriend.”
“And, she seems… I don’t know. Strange. Like she hates me without even knowing me.”
“Well, to be fair. You’ve been in the press for a while. She could feel like she already does know you.” Bryce said between shoveling food into his mouth.
“Wow. Thanks. That’s EXACTLY what I wanted to hear.” I responded sarcastically.
“What exactly did she do?”
“Just- made some weird comments to El, Dani, and me about… just, our relationships, I guess. It’s not that big of a deal, but I didn’t even know she was famous when I first met her.”
“Um, do you like, live under a rock?” Keenan said.
“I sort of try to steer clear of the rag mags. You would too if you were me.” They nodded as if to say ‘valid point’. “-And I can tell Zayn really wants her to be friends with me and the other girls, but she’s just a lot to deal with.”
“Have you talked to Zayn?” Molly asked.
“No, I wouldn’t want to bring it up to him. He seems to like her.”
“I wonder why.” Olly said jokingly. Bryce laughed with him.
Ugh, boys could be such a pain in the ass sometimes.

I hadn’t seen Anna for a few days. We had done a few shows around England, which was always such a great time, but I missed her.

Hey stranger. What have you been up to?

Oh you know, the normalcy that is my life when I’m not around you J basically just a shitload of schoolwork. They just LOVE to pile it all on right before winter break.

Well, while that sounds like LOADS of fun. But I was thinking maybe we could go out sometime this week?

Aww, Harry are you asking me on a DATE!?!

Yes I most definitely am. We haven’t gone a proper one in ages.

I would love to! How about Thursday night? I have an English paper due that day but nothing on Friday so I’ll be all yours J

Sounds perfect. I’ll pick you up.

Anna and I never really got to go out on real dates that often, so I wanted to make it special. Unfortunately, I wasn’t the most creative guy when it came to these types of things.
“Guys? What’s, like, a good ‘date place’?” I eventually swallowed my pride and asked the boys on Wednesday night, when I still had no clue what to do.
“Aww Harreh needs some advice with his lady?!” Louis joked, squeezing my cheeks.
“Don’t regret me asking you, mate.” I grumbled.
“Well how important is the date? Like, anniversary important or just a regular date?”
“I guess somewhere in the middle. Anna and I never really go on dates. So I wanted to do something nice but I can’t think of anything…”
“Alright younglings, gather round…” Liam said in his authoritative voice. None of us moved, but he did lean forward in his seat and clap his hands together like he was about to tell us a bedtime story.
“The key to a great date is to really think about who you’re taking out. What might be perfect for one girl, might not work for them all. So just, think about what Anna likes, and go from there.” He leaned back in his chair again, a content smile on his face. “Words of wisdom from Liam James Payne.” He said, putting his hands behind his head.
And although it would give Liam far too much of an ego (more than he already had, I mean). He was actually totally right.

I was so excited for tonight; I could barely focus all day. I felt like it was our first date all over again. We had agreed to meet outside on our regular corner at 7:30, and at 6:30 I had just showered and was standing in front of my closet in a robe, staring at my clothes as if suddenly, something new and perfect for tonight was going to just appear out of thin air. Unfortunately, no such luck. It was cute that Harry wanted everything to be a surprise, but also hard to know what to wear when you had no clue where you were going. I was in the mood to dress up, so after blow dying my hair into its natural waves, and applying my makeup, I decided on my new navy lace long-sleeved cocktail dress that had been a complete online-shopping-at-midnight splurge that I haven’t regretted for a minute. I paired the gorgeous dress with opaque black tights, and suede heels, grabbing a black clutch on the way out the door that only had enough room to hold my phone, lip gloss, room key, and debit card. Unfortunately, I was forced to cover the dress with my wool coat, due to the freezing December weather.
It was already dark when I stepped outside, the freezing drizzle of rain dying down after a day of on-and-off showers. I walked with my hands in my pockets because I had been too excited to remember to grab gloves.
I didn’t see Harry when I got to the corner, so I stood there for a few minutes. A black town car pulled up in front of me and a tall figure stepped out. I would recognize that mop of curls anywhere.
“Harry?” I said, confused by the scene in front of me. I did have to take a second to take in the sight of this boy in front of me. He was dressed up in a suit, minus the tie. I could tell it was still him by the tattered converse on his feet.
“Your chariot-“ Harry said with this dopey grin on his face, opening the door for me. I could tell he was joking a little, but it was still the sweetest thing ever.
“You didn’t have to get a CAR!” I said when we were both safely inside.
“I know I didn’t have to, but I wanted to.” His dimpled grin was too much. It literally made me have to smile too.
“Alright Gives, off we go!” He said to the driver.
“Is his name really Gives?” I whispered.
“No, it’s Walter. But Gives sounds much better.”
“Agreed.” We giggled and he took my hand in his as we drove through London.
I wasn’t really paying attention to where we were going until we stopped in front of a building with large red doors, and a matching huge red sign that read ‘Ritzy’.
“This looks suspiciously like a movie theatre…” I said, smiling up at Harry as he slid out of the car, which was opened by Walter-Not-Gives.
“Thanks mate.” Harry said, shaking the grey haired man’s hand appreciatively. Turning to me he said, “Ready?”
“Yeah!” I was so ecstatic to know what this night would bring.
We walked through the main doors, with the glowing matinee over it. The lobby was gorgeous; all gold crown molding and sparkly chandeliers.
“Wow.” I breathed, craning my neck to look at the ceiling, which was painted with complicated-looking designs. Harry guided me through the large entryway, holding a door for me, which opened into a massive empty theatre. There were rows after rows of plush blue velvet seats. The arched ceiling made the room seem even bigger, if that was possible. Then, at the front of the room, was a thick red curtain and a huge stage.
“Harry.” I said, turning to him. He had a small smile on his perfect face. I could have cried right now. “This is…too much. I can’t believe this!” I said, throwing my hands in the air.
“Nothing’s too much for you.” He said quietly, shuffling his feet nervously. I clasped my hands around his neck, stepping forward so, even though he was looking down, I could look him in the eye.
“Thank you. SO much.” Those dimples appeared once again, making my heart skip a beat, the way they always did.
Harry took my hand and led me down the aisle to the front row where we took our seats in the direct center. Then, right on cue, a man in jeans and a plaid button-up walked on stage.
“Hello there! I’m Daniel, manager of the Brixton’s Ritzy theatre! We are honored to have you here. Tonight, we will be screening what, in my opinion, is a true classic. The Wizard of Oz.”
Immediately, I looked over at Harry.
“You remembered that?” I asked, completely stunned. Of course, I was referring to the night when we first met and I had said that The Wizard of Oz was one of my favorite movies.
“Course I remembered.” He said in his usual low, mumbled tone. I felt so happy and giddy and completely head-over-heels in love with him right now, I had the sudden urge to throw myself at him; but, due to the man on the stage, I worked really hard on my self-restraint.
“-We have some refreshments to your right-“ Daniel continued. I followed his gaze to the front corner, where a rolling cart of food sat.
“- And without further ado, The Wizard Of Oz.” He scampered offstage just as the curtain parted and the lights dimmed, revealing a huge screen.
“I don’t even know what to say.” I finally said.
“I just- I wanted to do something special for you. We’ve been through a lot together in such a short time. So, you deserve things like this. You deserve everything.” I could feel myself getting misty-eyed and I think Harry could tell to. So, without saying another word, he put his arm around me so I could cuddle into him and watch the movie.


@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! :)