My Heart Skips A Beat
“Harry?!” I heard her soft voice call out as I shut the front door behind me. I dropped my wallet, keys, and phone on the table and went into my room where Anna was sitting on top of the duvet, notebooks and papers spread out around her. Her hair was pulled up into the kind of messy bun she did that I always think looked really sexy. Her sweater was too big, falling off one shoulder, and her eyes looked glassy and glazed over. She looked so tired, and like she had been crying.
“Hi.” I managed to choke out. Seeing the pictures from earlier, and imagining how horrible it had been to have to endure it alone, made me hate myself more than I already did.
“Hi.” She said quietly, one corner of her mouth turning upwards. She stood up and walked over to where I stood at the door.
“Is it a horridly stupid question for me to ask how you’re doing?” I asked. She stood just inches away from me now, looking up at me with those blue eyes that have lost some of the sparkle they usually held. I had told myself that the moment that happened, things were going to have changed. And I guess they have. But at the same time, I looked at Anna, and I still felt the same way I always have.
“No, it’s not stupid.” She said, breaking our locked gaze. “I guess I would be lying if I said I was okay.” My hand instinctively reached for hers.
“I’m so sorry.” I whispered, squeezing her small hand.
“Talk to me, Harry.” She responded, her voice quiet. She was looking at me with a desperate look in her eyes. I couldn’t tip toe around the situation anymore, not when she was standing right in front of me, looking at me like that.
“I don’t even know what to say…” I spoke, staring at the wall , feeling like complete shit. How had I allowed things to get this bad?
“The truth is all i’ve ever needed from you, you know that.” She said. I felt her hand reach up and cup my chin, moving it so I was looking into her blue eyes. They looked sad.
“I was ashamed of what i’d done. I broke us. And I guess somehow I figure that pulling away was the easiest way of not getting hurt.” Her hand moved from my chin to my cheek, her thumb stroked it gently. She pushed aside a few stray curls, but they just flopped back into place. Anna stared intently at me as i spoke. “- You don’t deserve any of the terrible things that have happened to you because of me. Most people would be gone by now. And saying how sorry I am just seems silly at this point.”
“I would never leave you.” She breathed, tracing my bottom lip with her gentle finger. Her words reminded me of what Simon had told us today. But I pushed those thought to the back of my mind for now; one issue at a time.
“Why?” I got out, needing to understand why this devastatingly beautiful girl, inside and out, was willing to alter her entire life for me.
“Because. You’re everything to me.” Her response caused my heart to lurch in my chest. I don’t cry much. But right then, I could’ve.
“I love you so much” I said quickly, pulling her into a tight embrace. Her arms wrapped around me, grabbing onto my t shirt. I wanted no space between us, so I just held her tighter. “Do you forgive me?” I asked into her hair. She tilted her head up, a hint of that sparkle back in her eyes, a smile playing on her lips.
“Of course I do.”
I felt sublime relief after talking with Harry. So much so that I almost forgot about the events of earlier today.
“I’ll talk to our PR, this is getting out of hand.” Harry said a while later as we laid together in bed.
“No, no Harry. You don’t have to do that, just let it be. It’ll just make them angrier.”
“I’m going to do something, I can’t just forget about it. They shouldn’t be allowed to do this it isn’t fair.” I just kept my mouth shut, knowing his stubborn nature made it impossible for me to win.
“Let’s just, not think about that right now.” I said, my hand trailing up his arm and tickling his ribs, causing him to squirm. “We should do something fun.” I said, moving to his prominent collarbones, tracing the outlines, tugging on the pendants that rested on his chest.
“I can think of something…” Harry said, rolling over so he was now on top of me. He nudged me head to the left, giving him access to my neck. he trailed small kissed across my skin.
“I was thinking something outside of your bedroom.” I giggled as he nipped at my skin.
“Ours. Our bedroom.” Harry murmured, continuing to leave small kissed across my shoulders, tugging my sweater down to reveal more skin. I smiled at his words, my fingers tangling into his curls. I know how much he loved when his hair was played with. I was proved right by the low groan that escaped his throat as I gently scratched his scalp. “What do you wanna do then? Anything you want.” He said, looking down at me, a dimpled smile making me feel like I could cry from happiness. My hand traveled to Harry’s forearm, pushing up the sleeve of his t shirt. I traced the black five-point star, feeling goosebumps arise on his soft skin.
“I want to go with you, and get a tattoo.” His eyes widened, a smile returning to his face.
“You sure?” Harry asked.
“Yeah, yeah i’m sure. I heard you talking to Louis about how you wanted another one, and i’ve been sort of thinking about it for a while. And I think i’m ready.”
“What are you gonna get?”
“It’ll be a surprise.” I giggled.
“Well let’s go then!” Harry said enthusiastically, pulling me up and off the bed, smoothing my hair down and kissing the top of my head.
“I think this’ll be good for us.” He said quietly.
“I know it will.”
Since Zayn already had quite the collection of tattoos, he told us the best place in London to go. It was pretty late so as we walked through the streets of London, we were really able to enjoy the time together, without distraction.
“Does it hurt?” I finally asked Harry the question I had been thinking about for the past hour.
“You really wanna know?” He asked.
“Well i’m gonna find out soon anyway so you might as well just tell me.”
“Yeah, it does. But i’ll hold your hand.” He said, leaning down to steal a kiss.
“Oh, god..” I sighed, knowing my pain tolerance wasn’t that great.
“You do know you don’t have to do this right?”
“I want to. I really want to. I’m just, a little scared.”
“Don’t be. I’m here.” His words were comforting.
“What are you gonna get?” I asked, changing the subject.
“I think I have an idea…” He gave me a cheeky look, grabbing my hand as we crossed the street.
“So, what are we doing tonight?” The guy doing the tattoo asked. I pulled the picture up on my phone, making sure Harry couldn’t see it as I passed it to him. He examined the picture for a few minutes, nodded, and handed it back to me.
“I’ll be right back and then we’ll get started.” He said.
“Thanks.” I smiled, my heart rate increasing as I watched another person in the shop get tattooed. The sound itself was sort of terrifying.
“You doing alright over there?” Harry asked.
“I’m fine. It’s just- looks pretty painful. But, it’s fine.” I wasn’t second guessing my decision to get it done, it was literally just the thought of a needle jabbing into my skin over and over that was making me freak out.
“Okay, okay go.” I told the guy Henry who was waiting for me to tell him I was ready for him to start. He had the needle in hand, and here I was acting like a 5 year old because every time he got it close to me, I freaked out and made him wait.
“Babe, you’re gonna be fine.” Harry said over his shoulder. I had made him hold my hand while not facing me, because I really did want it to be a surprise.
“Alright, just go for it.” I said, shutting my eyes and squeezing Harry’s hand as forcefully as possible.
It only lasted about a minute. it wasn’t very much fun.
But when I was able to go and look at it in the mirror, I knew it was worth it.
“What do you think?” Henry asked.
“It’s perfect. Thank you so much!” I gushed, smiling.
“Your turn mate!” Henry said, turning to Harry. I quickly covered the newly inked skin so he couldn’t see.
“You want me to hold your hand?” I joked, trading seats with Harry.
“‘Course I do.” He said, grasping my much smaller hand in his large one. I don’t mention it very often, but the size of Harry’s hands is actually ridiculous.
Harry pulled up his right sleeve, revealing the star that already adorned his skin.
“Ahem, no peeking!” He said to me, laughing as I turned around, rolling my eyes in the process.
“You ready mate?” Henry asked.
“Yep.” Harry responded, and the buzzing started.
Harry would never admit it, and he would kill me if I told anyone. But at several points throughout the few minutes it took to complete his tattoo, he squeezed onto my hand a little tighter. It made me feel good though. Harry was one of those guys who always seemed invincible, like he could conquer and excel at anything. The fact that he wasn’t the superhero he wanted me to believe that he was made me love him more, it made him human.
“Alright you two are all ready to go.” Henry said a few minutes later.“Don’t we have to pay?” I asked Harry once Henry had turned away.
“I took care of it, love.”
“You didn’t have to do that.” I grinned, bringing his hand to my lips and kissing it gently as we made our way out of the shop.
“It was your first tattoo. I wanted to. So when am I going to get to see it?”
“How about we wait till we get home. Then i’ll let you have a good look.” I said suggestively. I tugged Harry’s arm, pulling him towards me when we stopped walking in the middle of the sidewalk.
“That sounds lovely.” he whispered into my ear, covering my body in goosebumps. His lips grazed mine. But before he could lean back down I rushed away, soon to be caught up to by Harry. He slung his arm over my shoulder for the rest of the walk home.
It was incredible how different I felt from just this morning. Things were back to the way they were supposed to be. And as we talked and laughed and joked the whole way home, I knew that this was exactly where we both wanted to be. And that in itself, was the absolute best feeling in the world.
I was more than excited to see what Anna had gotten. And I was also sort of hoping she would like mine too. When we finally got home she pulled off her jacket, throwing it onto the sofa, and spun around to face me.
“Alright, let me see it!” Her smile was infectious. But I wasn’t going to give in that easily.
“Why not you first?” I asked, taking a step towards her.
“Because I said so! C’mon Styles, shirt off.” I chuckled.
“I’m beginning to feel like you’re using me.” I joked. But I obliged. I pulled of my sweater, and then the white t shirt I had on underneath. I moved my arm so you could see the new ink. The skin was still a bit tender, but i’m really really happy with how it turned out.
Anna took a few steps closer, cupping my elbow in her hand. Her other hand gently traced over the words.
“Won’t stop ‘till we surrender” She read quietly, the words sounding even better when she said them. “What’s it mean?” She asked, looking up at me.
“It’s, um, from a song I always really liked. And i’ve been thinking about the words for a while now, and they just sort of seemed to fit, you know? It reminds me of- well, it reminds me of us.” I was slightly embarrassed as I said this, ruffling my curls and pushing them to the side to distract her from the blush I felt on my cheeks.
“I love it.” Anna smiled, gently rubbing the pink skin around the words with her thumb. I flinched slightly.
“Sorry.” She whispered.
“Do I get to see now?” I asked. She just nodded. She had on one of my plaid shirts; the sleeves rolled up because it was much too big for her. It seemed to take hours for her to unbutton it the whole way, only to reveal a grey t shirt underneath. Her hand went up to the neckline, pulling it down slightly. I took a step forward and leaned down a little, only to see a small paper airplane tattoo right under her collar bone.
I reached and picked up the small pendant that hung around my neck. I looked at it, then back to Anna. They were almost identical. I could tell she was breathing quite heavily as I traced over it with my fingers, the way she had to me.
“It’s perfect.” I whispered. “But I think I need to get a better look.” I said, giving her a grin as my hands fell to the bottom hem of her shirt, pulling it up slightly. She flinched back, much to my surprise.
“What’s wrong?” I asked worriedly.
“No, no, nothing. I’m just- it’s nothing.” She said, taking a deep breath.
“Are you sure?” She had never acted like this before.
“Yeah.” I tried to accept what she had said, pulling her shirt up and over her head. her hair fell over her shoulders, covering the blue lace bra that I had once told her I really loved.
“My girl…” I whispered as I moved her hair over one shoulder, leaning down to kiss her soft skin.
It was at that moment that I couldn’t help but notice the changes to her body. She was thin, very thin.My eyes widened, I could see the faint outline of her ribs, her shoulderblades and hipbones more prominant then they had ever been.
“Anna…” I said, looking her straight in the eyes. She knew. I could tell by the frightened look in her eyes.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with me.” She looked like a scared little girl, crossing her arms over her chest, clearly ashamed.
“There’s nothing wrong with you. Nothing… You’re, perfect. I just- I wish I had known. I can’t believe how horrible i’ve been to you. I-I’m sorry.” This was my fault. I hadn’t been there for her, I hadn’t been paying attention. maybe if I had, I would’ve noticed this earlier. All I ever wanted was to be there for her, and I had failed.
“This isn’t because of you Harry. This is me. This is me being stupid. I’m not, hurting myself. I just- haven’t been able to eat, or I just haven’t cared enough to. I don’t know…” She hung her head, a curtain of blonde hair shielding her face from me. I gently tucked it behind her ear, tilting her head up to look at me.
“I’m here now, I really am. And i’m going to help you. We’re going to be okay, I promise.”
She seemed relieved by my words, throwing her arms around my neck and holding me tight. Her lips pressed to my neck, the warmth of her breaths comforting me. I held her small frame.When I had said that, “I’m here now.” I realized what I had really said. “I’m here now.” Now.
I had to tell her, I knew that. But how? How could I do that to her now, after this? She needed me, but I also needed her.