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My Heart Skips A Beat

Chapter 34

For us, New Years Day was reserved solely for hangover remedies. Niall went out early and picked up pastries, Louis made everyone tea, and the TV was set at a nice, low volume.
“Alright. Are you ready to talk about… the thing, that you said you wanted to do?” Harry asked me. We were lounged out on the couch with the rest of the boys, watching reruns.
“Um, Harry. I’m not sure if you’re aware that we are in fact in the room. Isn’t this a more of a… bedroom conversation?” Louis asked jokingly. Niall cracked up.
“Oh, god, mate, shut up! I’m talking about an interview. Remember, the one that was YOUR idea?!”
“Oh yes, how could I forget? That WAS one of my brightest moments.”
“What were you going to say?” I asked Harry.
“Well, I was e-mailing with Jacob and he said he can set up an interview for just the two of us for the fourth.”
“Just the two of you?! What about me!!??” Louis burst out again.
“Okay, okay. Go back to your conversation.”
“So, what do you think?”
“I think… that I have no idea how to do a TV interview.”
“Well, he also said we could meet with him and some of our PR people just to, you know, get us prepared and whatever.” “Sounds good.” I responded, unsure of if it really did sound good. Would I be able to do this? Would I just make a fool of myself? Would I come off badly and everyone would just hate me even more? What the hell was I even going to say?
Don’t worry, you’ll be great. I’ll help you.” I heard Harry whisper so only I could hear. I just really hoped he was right.

I could tell Anna was nervous as we drove to the meeting with Jacob. She hadn’t talked much the entire way there and she kept pulling at the sleeves of her sweater.
“You sure you’re okay with this. Because you know we don’t-“
“I’m sure. I’m just, a little nervous. I’m not really a pro at this.”
“Trust me, neither am I.” She managed to show a small smile, but it still seemed a little forced. We parked in the garage of the Syco building, neither of us getting out of the car.
Harry!” She snapped. Then stopped, seeming a little surprised at herself for yelling. “- I’m sorry. I just, I’m freaking out a little about all of this. I’m not saying I don’t want to do it, but can you really blame me?”
“Of course not. I’m just – scared.” She seemed surprised when I said that. “What? Why would you be scared?”
“Because, I don’t want to make you do something you don’t really want to do, and I don’t want this to change anything between us. I’m worried about what will happen after we do this. And I’m just… I’m always scared that one day this is all going to become too much for you, and you’re just going to give up on me.” I hadn’t been looking at her, but when I did, I saw that her eyes were glassy. The last thing I had wanted was to make her cry.
“You really think that’ll happen?” She said, her voice small. I couldn’t look at her, so I just stared at the steering wheel.
“I…I don’t know. Am I crazy to think that it could?”
“Yes.” She said immediately. I turned to look at her.
“Anna… I know this is a lot to handle; I’m not blind to it. I don’t think this is normal. So yeah, sometimes I think about how much easier your life would be without me in it.”
“But that’s the thing I don’t think you get- I don’t want to have a life without you in it. You’re worth it, Harry. So let’s go in there, and just- whatever they think we should do; let’s just do it. So then this can just be done with. Okay?”
“Okay.” I finally said, managing a smile.

The meeting was…weird. Jacob didn’t stop talking even to just take a breath. He was going on and on, giving us notes on what the interviewer was going to ask and what we were supposed to say in response, word for word. “Look, Jake, isn’t this all a little bit…staged?” I finally asked.
“Harry, you know we need to be prepared for every scenario.”
“Yeah, I know… I just thought that this whole thing was supposed to be about us finally being ourselves.”
“And it is, but Anna’s never done an interview before so she just, needs to know what to expect.”
“We can listen to him, Harry. He uh, seems to know what he’s talking about.” I heard Anna say. I looked over to see a kind of wide-eyed look on her face. Yeah, she was definitely going with that whole ‘do-whatever-they-say’ thing that I guess we had sort of agreed on.
“She’s smart, Harry.” Jacob said.
I could do nothing but nod.

“I mean, what do you think I should wear?” I asked Danielle. I was shifting through my suitcase, trying to find something acceptable for my first time being on TV. Ever.
“Something nice, kinda conservative, but not prissy. You need to find that happy middle between not looking uptight and not looking slutty, you know?”
“Strangely, I think I do.” I said, throwing a neglected navy sweater back into the huge pile of unacceptable clothes.
“Are you nervous?”
“Out of my mind.”
“I don’t blame you. I’d be freaking out if I were you.”
“Wow, thanks Dani, that’s really helpful.” I giggled, throwing a scarf at her.
“No, no! That’s not what I mean. I mean that, what you’re doing is really, really brave. I don’t know if I could do it. I mean, sometimes the hate gets to be a little much or something, but I don’t know if I could ever do what you’re doing.” I smiled, opening my arms up.
“That deserved a hug.”

I woke up the next day at 7:30, never able to fully fall back asleep. Harry on the other hand, didn’t seem to have the same problem. He was passed out and snoring until almost noon.
“How long have you been up?” He asked, stumbling out of his room.
“A while. I couldn’t really sleep.” I felt him come up behind me, his hands resting on my bare shoulders.
“I’m sorry….”
“Nah, it’s okay. What time do we need to go?”
“The car will be here at 6.”
“I’m gonna go back to school and get some clothes. I don’t really have anything to wear.”
“Okay, I have to go get a haircut.” This, of all things, made me stop and turn back towards him.
“What?” I asked, shocked.
“What?” He said back innocently.
You’re getting a haircut?”
“Yes, I am. Our stylist makes me do it before every TV appearance. It’s bloody annoying. I think she just started that rule because she knows if she didn’t I’d never cut it. ”
“Wow. I wish I could be there to see that. “
“Trust me, it’s very boring. Plus, she always gets mad at me when I mess it up right after she’s done.”
“Still, quite the event.”
“Baby, my hair is my best asset.” He said jokingly, doing his signature hair flip.
“Oh my GOD. Okay, I’m leaving.” I said, laughing as I opened the door to leave.
“Hey Anna!” Harry called.
“I love you. And you’re gonna do great.” I mouthed a quick thank you before walking out the door.

It took 2 hours, 3 outfit changes, and 5 tries at the ‘winged liner’ thing I was always trying to do. But finally, at exactly 5:53, I was ready. I decided on a pair of cream colored lacey high waisted shorts with a sheer white blouse tucked in, black blazer, black opaque tights, and a pair of black suede platform wedges. Danielle gave it two thumbs up so I guess I found the happy medium she had been talking about.
“You ready for this?” Harry asked, walking out of his room, still buttoning his shirt. He looked good in a white dress shirt, grey blazer, dark jeans, and of course his white converse. And I did happen to notice that his hair looked a little more tamed than usual.
“You look great.” He said, pulling on his jacket and grabbing his phone.
“So do you, nice haircut.” He smirked.
“I think the car’s here.” Harry said, looking out the front window.
“Let’s go then.” I smiled, reaching for his hand.

We were making the appearance on one of those live prime time talk shows. There were two hosts; a pretty girl probably in her mid twenties, and a guy with hipster glasses and bright red pants.
“Hello, I’m Evelyn; I’ll be helping you backstage. We’re gonna ask that you both go into makeup just for a few touchups and then we’ll do a quick run through of what the plan is exactly.” I nodded as I was immediately whisked away from Harry, and into a makeup chair where they went over my hard work with powder, concealer, and another layer of mascara. I saw Harry for a split second, grabbing a bottle of water from a cooler, but he didn’t see me. Suddenly, with all the movement and action going on, I started to feel really nauseous and uncomfortable.
“Um, I’m really sorry. Can I just go use the bathroom really quickly? I’ll be right back.” I told Evelyn, running off into the direction she pointed towards without a word.
Once inside, I took a few deep breaths, trying my best not to cry and ruin my makeup. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be here or to do this, I just felt so overwhelmed, like there wasn’t enough air. That, plus the fact that in less than an hour I would be sitting in front of millions of people, made for the knot that had formed in my stomach.
“Anna!” I heard from outside the bathroom door. I knew it was Harry.
“Yeah, uh, just a second. I’ll be right there.” I heard myself say.
“Anna it’s me.”
“I know, just a sec.” I looked at myself in the mirror, attempted to fluff up my hair, and open the door. Harry stood in front of me with a concerned look on his face.
“I’m okay, just got a little claustrophobic. But I’m good. Let’s go.”

“So, as I’m sure you all know, we are lucky enough to have the first EVER exclusive interview with Harry Styles and his girlfriend, Anna Hollis. This will be the first time they’ve appeared on TV together and it really couldn’t have come at a more interesting time. I’m sure we all know what I’m talking about. So let’s get right into it with you, Anna. How did you and Harry meet?” I looked over at Anna who took a small, uneven breath before answering.
“Um, well, we met at a pub through a… mutual friend.” She answered with exactly what Jacob told her to say. To be fair, I was glad that she had been told to lie about that part. My relationship with Anna was special, and private. I didn’t need the entire world knowing every detail.
“And how long ago was that?”
“About 4 months.” Anna said.
“Alright so, let’s get down to the things people really want to know about. Starting with the first the media got to see of you, and they saw quite a bit of you. What do you have to say about the pictures, Harry? I’m sure you weren’t too happy about them. “ If Anna wanted to do what Jake said, than I didn’t really have a choice but to go along with it too. So -
“It was very difficult. It was an invasion of privacy, and really quite scary. I just, I never really understand how someone could go to such great lengths just for a picture.” Jake had told me to stay calm about the situation when it was brought up, but still say that it wasn’t taken completely lightly.
“Yeah, I’m sure. So, after that, the next thing we hear about the two of you was when Poppy Upton came into the picture. Tell me about that, Anna?”
“Um, Poppy…. I never really got to know her that well to be honest. She was seeing Zayn for a little while, but sort of had a separate life.”
“What about you Harry? There were a few rumors going around about the two of you.”
“No, absolutely not. They were all completely made up. I was never interested in Poppy.”
“Alright, well then most recently the headlines have been about your little trip to New York, and Harry’s little tiff with a photo outside of the airport. Why don’t you tell me about that, Anna?”
“Well, I went home for the holidays, which was something I had been planning on doing all year. And then… I went through some personal things, with my family. And um, Harry was just-“
“What kind of personal things?”
“Well um, it’s not really something I want to get into right now.”
“Did it have anything to do with your past of depression?”
“What? Um, no. No it didn’t.”
“But you did, have a past? I mean – the story that Poppy leaked was true?”
“I mean-“ Anna was flustered, which is exactly what the interviewers wanted. That wanted to make her uncomfortable and nervous and then hoped all her secrets would just slip out. And as far as I could tell, they were going to get their way if I didn’t do something.
“Can we just, go onto the next question?” I asked.
“I thought this was about clearing everything up.” The guy said, clearly trying to irk me. It was working.
“So, are you saying you didn’t have a problem with depression? And you didn’t see a therapist for a year?” They said, ignoring me.
“I mean, I –“ Anna began.
“Anna, you don’t have to say anything.” I heard myself say, taking her hand.
Harry” Anna said, widening her eyes at me.
“No, no it’s okay. Look, we’re here to clear everything up, be ourselves, be honest and all that. So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m just not willing to sit here while you attack my girlfriend, okay? Because I love her, properly. And so far, we’ve done decent job of keeping ourselves out of the spotlight, other than a few mistakes, which the entire world already knows and has made their minds up about.”
“So what are you saying exactly?” I knew I was ruining the plan, I was ruining the whole point of this interview, but I couldn’t help myself.
“I’m saying that, Anna went home for the holidays to see her family, which didn’t go exactly as planned, so I flew there to see here. And when we got back the photographers outside the airport were brutal, terrible. So yeah, I got mad. But can you really blame me? They’ve been torturing both of us for months and it just gets really difficult to ignore after a while. So I just can’t really apologize for that.”
“Do you have anything to add, Anna?”
I looked over to see a shocked, confused and slightly nervous look on her face. “I –“She stopped, looked down at my hand which was laced with hers, and then I saw her smile. “I think Harry cleared everything up pretty well.”
“Well, than I guess that’s that. Thanks you two for coming onto the show. It’s been, interesting.” The girl said, turning towards the camera. “We’re going to go to a commercial break and when we come back, we’ll look at the highlights in entertainment for this week.”
“AND- WE’RE OFF.” I heard the director say.
“Wow.” The guy said, smiling. “Well, that’ll get us the ratings we need.”

I should be mad, I should be freaking out, I should slap or something. But I didn’t. And I couldn’t. Because what Harry just did is what I wasn’t brave enough to do.
“I’m sorry, Anna. I know you’re pissed but I just couldn’t take it anymore-“I grabbed Harry’s hand and pulled him over to a slightly more secluded area near the crafts services table where the only potential eavesdroppers were random lights and camera guys who couldn’t care less about some teen heartthrob’s TV blowout.
“Harry. Stop. Breathe.” I put a finger over his lips to shut him up. “Thank you.”
“What?” He mumbled from under my finger, clearly confused.
“That was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me. And it was brave. And it was, exactly what I wish I had had the guts to do. But I didn’t. And you did. And I just, I really love you.” I moved my hand to his cheek as the corner of his mouth twitched, revealing one of his dimples.
“You do realize this most likely just made everything worse, correct?”
“Good, good. So, wanna get out of here?”
“Perfect. Let’s go.”

“What the hell had you been thinking?! Do you have any idea how much damage you’ve done?!” Jacob was livid when we all went in for a meeting the next day. It had already been planned and we were supposed to be talking about some upcoming press appearances, but obviously it turned into…this.
“Look, Jake. I can’t apologize for it. I just can’t.”
“Just tell me why.”
“Because they were attacking her! The way that they always do, the way that they have ever since we met. They were trying to get a front-page worthy story and I guess that’s exactly what they got. But at least now everyone knows the truth.”
“I really am not sure you understand what being a celebrity means. It isn’t always about being truthful, yourself, and whatever. It’s about your IMAGE. You know the one that is potentially destroyed thanks to this?”
“Look, Jake. We understand its bad, but we all know that what Harry did was morally the right thing.” Louis butted in. Thank god.
“Morals can’t play a role in this. It’s cutthroat. So, what we need to deal with now is damage control.”
“What?” I knew Jake would be mad, but I never expected this much.
“I’m going to book you for an interview, this time alone, where you can apologize and fix this mess.”
“What? No way. I’m sticking to what I said. If I do some interview, pretending like what I did was wrong, it’ll defeat the whole purpose!!”
“No, Jake. I’m sorry. But I’m not taking any of it back. The press can say whatever they want.” Jacob sighed, rubbing his hands over his face in frustration.
“You know what? Fine. You want to be the big-shot-protective-bad- boy-boyfriend? Whatever you want, Harry. But you’re the one that’s going to have to deal with the consequences and the backlash.” He said, storming out.
“We’re here for you, Haz. And we’ll help you with whatever.” “Thanks guys. Let’s just – go.” I needed to get out of this meeting room. I just needed to be somewhere else.

“I think this idea is WAYYY better than some stupid meeting!” I heard myself saying these things, they were pouring out of my mouth and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I was drunk, more like pissed-ass wasted really. After the 5 minute long meeting I wanted to do something to clear my head. So, we went to a pub.
That was about 2 hours ago.
Now, it was hardly 9:30 and I could barely stand on my own. Niall loved it; any excuse to have a drink. Then, there’s Liam. I knew he was trying to help and sober me up, but I was completely uninterested. Not that I would’ve been able to do anything even if I wanted to.
“You think you’ve had enough, Harry? Ready to go home?” I just shook my head laughing and picking up my bottle of beer, trying to take another swig.
“Lou, a little help please?” They were talking like I wasn’t there, like I couldn’t hear them. But I could.
“We need to get him outta here. But there’s like, a herd of paps outside.”
“Let’s just go, it’s not like it could make things worse than they already are.” I felt Liam holding me up from one side, Louis from the other, pulling me up off of a barstool.
“But lads, we’re just getting started. I don’t wanna go yet!”
“We’re just uh, taking you to see Anna. Don’t you want to see her?”
“See, you do want to see her mate, don’t you?”
“Ughhh… She’s going to be so mad at me.” I groaned, starting to remember how much shit I was in.
“Don’t worry about it. We’re just going to go home, you’re gonna sleep it off. Everything will be fine.” I heard Liam say. Then, a whoosh of freezing cold air washed over me. Suddenly there were bright flashes, yelling, pushing. I kept my eyes shut as Liam and Louis practically carried me through the crowd.
I opened my eyes for a split second and felt like I was being attacked. Then, a moment later, I was lying face down in the back of a car, trying my absolute best not to throw up all over the black leather interior.

“Shouldn’t the boy’s have been home a while ago?” I asked Eleanor. She, Danielle, and I were camped out on the living room floor, surrounded by pizza boxes and cans of diet coke. We were having a girl’s night in while the boy’s were doing work stuff.
“Yeah, I’ll call Liam and see what’s going on.” Danielle said, pulling out her phone. A second later, I felt myphone vibrating next to me.
“Weird, Liam’s calling me now. Hello?”
“Anna? You guys need to get down here, now. Harry’s pissed and there are paps everywhere.”
“What are you talking about? What happened?!” I immediately felt nervous, petrified. Every terrible situation flashed through my head the second I heard the nervousness and serious tone in Liam’s voice.
“It’s a long story, we’ll tell you later. Can you just come get the door? Please?”
“Yeah, be right there.” I said, practically throwing my phone down and running to the door.
“What the hell?” Eleanor said.
“Harry and the boys are downstairs, he’s pissed drunk. We need to go help.”
A minute later I was bursting through the front door to a sea of flashes and questions being thrown at me from every direction.
“LIAM?!” I couldn’t see more than a foot in front of me due to the cameras.
“Anna?!” I heard. I ran towards the voice through the crowd, to an SUV with the back door opened and a tall figure lying in the backseat.
“Is he okay?!”
“I think he’s fine, we just need your help to get him upstairs. No one had their keys.”
“Come on, hurry.” I said. Liam and Louis got Harry to sit up, his head falling forward. Frantically, the boys pulled him up and out of the car, somehow making it through the front door of the building. Finally, the door was shut and I was left alone with 3 members of the world’s biggest boy band, only two of which were able to tell me what the hell was going on.
Once we were finally in the apartment with Harry passed out on his bed, I was able to get some answers.
“Can someone please tell me what happened now?” I asked, making some tea for when Harry woke up and/or Niall and Zayn decided to get a cab home from whatever pub they were using their best pickup lines at tonight.
“Well uh, we met with Jacob and he was kinda upset about the interview, wanted him to do another one to fix everything, but, he refused. Then, he got drunk.”
“Oh, god…” It was seriously never ending drama at this point.
“But don’t – I mean, it isn’t about you. He’s just a little stressed.”
“Let’s be honest, it is about me.” No one said a word.
“Anna, we don’t blame you.” I heard Liam say. I turned around from the stove to see all eyes on me. Here, right in front of me, were four people who genuinely cared about me. It was a foreign thing for me, and still took some getting used to.
“You guys have been amazing; welcoming me into this quasi family, helping me and Harry out with everything that’s happened-“
“Babe, this sounds suspiciously like a goodbye.” Eleanor said.
“No, no. I’m just, worried about what’ll happen after this. So I just wanted thank you all now, before things could get kinda crazy, or, I mean, crazier. Just, please know that I really appreciate everything you’ve done for me. And I seriously do love you guys. You’ve become my family. I’m just gonna go to bed now, I’ll see you in the morning.” I felt my eyes welling with tears as I quickly walked into Harry’s room and shut the door. I looked over at Harry, with his long limbs and messy hair and perfect features, and I just wished that for once, things could just be normal and easy for once. No family drama, no big blowouts in the public eye, just us. Because I loved Harry more than I’ve ever loved anyone in my life. But I had a feeling that after tonight, things were only going to get more difficult.


@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! :)