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My Heart Skips A Beat

Chapter 3

I was sprawled out on Liam’s couch when I got the text from Anna. I felt myself immediately smile at the thought of seeing her in just 1 hour.
“OHHH! Boys, look at Harry over there!” I heard Niall shout from across the room. I looked up to see 7 faces watching me. All of the boys were here, plus Danielle and Eleanor. Everyone was giving me this, look.
“What? I’m not allowed to be happy?!” I asked, trying to stop myself from showing how excited I really was.
“No, of course you are mate. We’ve just never seen you like this. Like, ever.” Louis said, his arm around his new girlfriend, Eleanor. They had only been dating for a short amount of time, but already she was a permanent fixture in our gatherings. Zayn gave me a quick look as if to say, ‘I mean, you know he’s right’. And the strange part was, I did. He was absolutely right. I did like Anna; I could admit that to myself. And there was just something between us, I had no idea what it was. But that wasn’t the part that mattered. What mattered was;
1. Does she even like me as more than a friend?
2. If she DID like me, would she be willing to take on the stress and hardships that dating me would require?
I would feel guilty making her deal with all of that. But I just couldn’t help myself. I wanted to hang out with her and see her, even though I knew it wasn’t the best idea. What with the press and paparazzi that manage to find us wherever we go.
Anyway, Anna was going to be here in 45 minutes, so I still had a bit of time.
“So, Harry, you fancy her or what?” Danielle said casually as she sat in a chair across from me with Liam.
“I mean- I don’t-“
“Oh god, you REALLY fancy her!” She squealed. “Not that that’s a bad thing, you need a good girl in your life.”
“And why is that?” I asked.
“You know why.” I did. Everyone knew I had terrible luck in the relationships department. I always picked the wrong girls, or it was at the wrong time, or I did something idiotic to screw everything up. But I wasn’t going to let myself do any of those things here, not this time.
“Alright, fine. Get this all out now. I don’t want to hear it once Anna gets here.” They all laughed and began bringing up stories of my several failed past relationships. I just let them go off, knowing there was nothing I could do to stop it. They could say whatever they want, as long as Anna doesn’t find out about this. And as long as she doesn’t soon become one of these stories.

Harry had texted me the address of the apartment complex that he and the other four boys lived in. I pressed the button for apartment 317, which I was told was Liam’s.
“Hello?” I heard a voice say through the intercom.
“Uh. Hi. This is Anna. I’m-“
“Oh, Anna! Sure, love. Come on up!” The voice replied cheerfully. I wasn’t sure who it was, but apparently they knew me. I opened the door and took the ‘lift’ up to the third floor. There were only a few apartments on the floor, so 317 wasn’t too hard to find. I knocked on the door and a cute blonde guy with blue eyes and a bright smile immediately opened it.
“Hi! You must be Anna!” He said, opening the door wider to let me in.
“Yeah, hi. Nice to meet you.” I said, recognizing him as one of the other members of One Direction.
“I’m Niall.” He said, sticking out his hand for me to shake.
“Anna!” I heard a husky, low voice from behind me as I shook Niall’s hand. I turned around and saw Harry sauntering towards me. And when I say ‘sauntering’, I seriously mean that. It was like it was in slow motion; this amazingly beautiful smile was growing on his face and his eyes were sparkling and I seriously felt lightheaded. I know how crazy it sounds, but right now I just didn’t care. I just wanted to like, stare at him forever.
“Hey!” I said, forcing myself out of my trance. I took a few steps towards him and he embraced me in his long, muscular arms. He smelled amazing, like some kind of really boyish aftershave. I pulled away and looked up at him.
“Long time no see.” I said sarcastically, giggling out of complete nervousness.
“Too long.” He responded jokingly. But even though I knew he was being funny, something about how he said it made my heart flutter.
“Let me introduce you to everyone.” He said, throwing his arm over my shoulder and leading me into a living room.
“Anna; this is Liam and his girlfriend Danielle, this is Zayn, you met Niall, Louis, and his girlfriend Eleanor. Guys, this is Anna.” He motioned towards me and a chorus of ‘hello’s!’ and ‘nice to meet you’s’ followed Harry’s introduction.
“I’ll get you a drink.” Harry said, leaving me in the living room with 6 strangers.
“So, Anna, where are you from again?” Louis asked, moving over to give me some space on the couch where I sat down.
“New York City.” I said.
“Ahh! That’s so cool!” Louis’ girlfriend Eleanor squealed, clapping her hands in excitement.
“Oh, have you ever been?” I asked.
“No but I’m DYING to!” She said, “I bet your life is just like in Gossip Girl, right?”
I laughed, “No, unfortunately not. There is a ton of drama though, but none of the perks of going to school with Chase Crawford and Penn Badgely.” She smiled and we began talking about our other favorite TV Shows. Eleanor and Danielle were super nice.
“Here you are.” Harry said, handing me a drink and sitting down on the small space of sofa next to me, his leg immediately pressed up against mine.
“What’s going on lads?” Harry asked to the 4 bored-looking boys scattered across the room.
“These three are going on and on about chick flicks and makeup.” Niall said, grabbing a handful of chips from a bowl on the coffee table and shoving them into his mouth.
“Oh, hush Niall! All you boys ever talk about is football!” Danielle said, shooing him away. He gave a mock-offended face in return that made everyone laugh.
We sat around and just talked and hung out for a while, until the boys decided they were hungry and insisted on going out for dinner. Niall quickly got up and looked out a window.
“We seem to be in the clear, lads. Lets get outta here before they figure anything out.” He grabbed a baseball hat and a pair of sunglasses and put them both on, even though it would be getting dark soon.
“What’s he talking about?’ I asked Harry, confused.
“The paps. They’re out there a lot.” He said, grabbing his Ray Bans from the coffee table.
“Here, you might want these.” Eleanor said, coming up to me with a pair of aviators.
“Oh, okay. Thanks.” I said, taking them from her.
“You sure this is a good idea? Me coming with you guys?” I asked Harry as everyone got ready to go.
“Yeah, of course! I want you to. I just, if you don’t want to, or you’re worried… We can just stay here.” He said quietly. And to be completely honest, the sound of staying here with Harry, as nervous as it made me feel, sounded pretty good. But I wanted to be friends with his friends. They were nice, and really friendly and welcoming.
“No, no, it’s fine. I’ll just be- discreet. My parents will freak if I’m suddenly in some magazine or something.” I said, laughing over how crazy it was that this was even something I needed to worry about. But I guess it was just another aspect of being friends with harry Styles.

The 8 of us squeezed into the tiny lift and made our way downstairs and out onto the sidewalk. We always got some stares and recognition when we were out, but the boys and I had become pretty good about knowing where to go and how no to get noticed. I kept Anna close by my side, nervous about what some people might think if they saw us together. Not that I would really mind too much, but I didn’t want her name out there, her face plastered all over the news. We were stopped a few times for pictures and autographs, but it was nothing too crazy. We made the quick walk to a little pub down the street that wasn’t too crowded for dinner. We had all somehow managed to fit into on booth where I ended up sitting on the end, next to Anna, with Louis on her left side.
“Hello Lads!” Our waiter, Jonathan said when he saw us at the table. We were pretty regular here, so he usually knew to expect us. He was also really good at keeping the fact that we hung around her so much a bit of a secret.
“Hey, Johnny!” Louis said.
“Round of pints?” Jonathan assumed. “Except for Liam over here, can I bring you a glass of milk?” He joked with Liam constantly about the fact that he didn’t drink.
“Ha ha, very funny. I’ll just have water.” Liam responded with mock amusement.
I was 17, not even legal here where the drinking age was 18. But I guess it didn’t really matter. And not that I was the biggest drinker, but I didn’t want to seem lame around everyone else, who were having beers.
Niall, who I was quick to realize, was the resident food critic of the group, ordered for the entire table. A while later a bunch of different things showed up at the table for everyone to share. He insisted that I try everything, as I was the only one who had never been here, which I did happily.
“Niall, calm down. Not everyone has a stomach the size of a whale.” Harry joked as Niall piled my plate with food.
“He’s a bit of a food addict, if you couldn’t tell.” Harry said, his voice close to my ear.
“I sort of assumed.” I said, turning to see that his face was much closer to mine than I had suspected.
“You having a descent time? The boys can be a bit much.” He said in a whispered tone.
“It’s great. They’re all really nice. Thanks for inviting me.” I said politely.
“I’m glad you could come. Sorry if I’m distracting you from your school work.”
“It’s fine, this is more fun anyway.” I said honestly. Although that did remind me of the homework that I still had to do. Hopefully no one at school was too worried about me, I hadn’t exactly told anyone where I was going for obvious reasons. But with Harry’s face so close to mine that I could feel his breath on my cheek, and the heat of his body pressed against my entire right side, I forgot to care that I had homework, or people who might be worrying about me, or really anything else that was going on around me besides that he was right here. I felt him staring at me as my eyes traveled up to meet his, his gaze so intense that it made my breath catch in my throat. I just sat there, motionless, wondering what was about to happen. I felt his hand touch my knee as he leaned forward a little bit. I didn’t dare move.
“EXCUSE ME, EARTH TO HAROLD!” A voice suddenly shouted from across the table. It was Niall, completely oblivious to the situation at hand as he handed Harry another pint of beer as he had an extremely comical, animated, and loud conversation with Zayn, Louis, and Eleanor about something that had happened to him in a shop a few days ago. Harry and I were quickly broken out of the spell that it seemed had been cast over us for those few moments, and he took the glass from Niall, trying to act as if nothing was wrong. But I could tell when he looked back at me that he was thinking about that moment that had almost happened only seconds ago just as much as I was.

I’m not sure who I was trying to fool when I had said that I could see Anna and I just being ‘friends’, because that was just a monstrous lie. Earlier tonight when we were at the Pub, I swore I thought we were about to kiss. Butt to be honest I am sort of glad that we didn’t. Not there, not then. Not with everyone sitting around and watching. But for the rest of the evening there was absolutely nothing else that I could think about besides…her. Whenever she was talking to someone else at the table, I caught myself staring. Whenever her hand brushed against mine I felt a little bolt of electricity run through my veins. You might think that because of who I am, that these little things wouldn’t faze me anymore. Well, you’re wrong. Anna was like this magnetic force that I was just drawn to like a fly to a light. When I was with her, everything just seemed to light up, including myself. And even though I’ve only known her for a mere 2 days, it already felt like longer.
We are currently walking back to the apartment at around 9:00. Anna and I were lagging a bit behind everyone else as we walked.
“I should really get going. I’m sure there are people wondering where I am.”
“Oh, okay. I’ll come with you.” I offered.
“No, it’s fine, you don’t have to. I mean, It’s pretty out of your way.”
“It’s really fine, I want to.” I said completely honestly. She seemed surprised by my response from the way her eyebrows shot up.
“Okay. Yeah, that’d be nice.” She smiled and I jogged forward a bit to tell the boys that we were going to catch a cab back to Anna’s school. When I did tell them, literally everyone managed to make some sort of hushed comment about me and Anna, which I was worried she had heard bits of.
“Alright, ready to go. I think we can get a cab right down here” I said, pointing towards the next corner. When we reached the line of 3 cars Anna took her time saying goodbye and hugging everyone. They all seemed very enthusiastic about seeing her again which was a very good sign. Not that I really cared too much about what anyone else thought, but I still wanted my friends to like her, which they clearly did.
We slid into the cab and she gave the driver the address.
“Déjà vu” she said, smiling, remembering the way we had met only a few short days ago. I smiled at her from across the backseat as we drove through the winding streets of London.
“I really did have a great time, your friends are really cool.”
“Well they seriously seem to love you.” I responded, not sure what else to say that wouldn’t sound completely idiotic right now.
“So not to sound too, I don’t know, forward… can I see you again soon?” I know this night wasn’t even over, but I was already thinking about the next time I would get to see her again.
“Yeah, of course! I’ll just-“
“You can call me, you know.” I said.
“Oh. Yeah, okay. I’ll call you then”. She smiled a huge smile and nodded as I had said that.
Just a matter of minutes later we had reached the black iron fences of her school. I told the driver he could keep the meter going as I walked her to her building.
“You don’t have to do that really.”
“It’s no problem. And, I mean, it’s late. You shouldn’t be walking alone.” We began walking through campus, nothing but the sounds of our feet hitting the ground. When we eventually reached her dorm building, things took a slight turn to the awkward. I wasn’t sure if I should kiss her, or hug her or, like, what? I knew I WANTED to kiss her, I’m just not sure the best time was now.
“Thanks again for coming.” I said, standing close to her on the main steps.
“Your welcome” she said in a quiet voice. She looked up at me and I was dying to kiss her, but I willed myself to just calm down, take things slowly.
“Well, g’nite then?” I eventually said, pulling her in for a hug. I managed to get a whiff of her perfume for about the 20th time today, something that I did really enjoy. Mostly because it wasn’t just some generic perfume that everyone has and therefore everyone smells the same. It was her own type of scent, something that was just so her in the scents of the lavender and rosewood and cedar. I pulled away and she was still looking right at me, as if she was wondering if something was going through my head.
“Goodnight, Harry.” She said almost inaudibly it was barely a whisper, as she leaned in and gave me a quick peck on the cheek.
I got back to the apartment 15 minutes later and everyone was still at Liam’s hanging around. The moment I walked in the room I knew I was going to be interrogated, and they did not fail to surprise me.
“Geez, Haz, you never told us she looked like THAT”, Zayn said first.
“She’s so sweet I love her!” Danielle and Eleanor agreed.
“So, did you go in for the kill?” Louis said jokingly.
“Oh, shut up, guys!” I said, smiling as I sat down and put my feel up on the coffee table.
“You seriously expect us not to ask questions?” Niall said.
“No, I just- I don’t even know-“
“She does.” Liam said matter-of-factly.
“She does what?” I asked, even thought I was pretty sure I knew what he was talking about.
“You know. She does like you. I can tell, we ALL can tell.” They all gave a positive response.
“Really? How can you tell?” I asked, genuinely interested, because I had no idea.
“You can just tell, by, everything. The way you two at together, the way you talked,. Do you really need us to spell it out for you!?” Danielle said.
“No, no. I just- wasn’t sure.” And I really hadn’t been, I still don’t really think I was.
“Well, rest assured, she does.”


@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! :)