My Heart Skips A Beat
A half-empty suitcase sat in my closet with t-shirts and jeans aimlessly thrown into it. But packing was the last thing on my mind right now. I padded around the apartment looking for Anna. For two days straight she’s done nothing but straighten up the apartment and make sure all of my clothes were washed and make cup after cup of tea; a habit she’s picked up since living with me and Louis. I checked the kitchen, which was empty. I finally made my way into the laundry room where I saw Anna facing the washing machine, stuffing things into the contraption and pouring detergent into it.
“Babe-” She jumped, startled by my voice. She turned around, not making eye contact with me. “- you don’t have to do all this, I can do my own washing.” I smiled, trying to lighten her mood.
“I know, I just thought I’d help.” She huffed, trying to push past me with an armful of newly washed clothes.
“I know you are, and I love you for it. But i’m just saying, you don’t have to.” I responded calmly, taking the clothes from her and setting them on top of the dryer. She finally looked at me. There were dark half-circles under her tired eyes and her skin was pale. She looked like a ghost of the girl I saw just a few days ago. What had gone wrong? Everything had been going so incredibly well and now, this complete switch.
“Anna, have you been eating alright?” I asked, realizing it had been a while since I’d seen her consume anything more than a few bits of popcorn last night and massive amounts of tea.
“Jesus Harry, is that all you can think about?! You’re leaving tomorrow and all you can think about is whether i’m sustaining a balanced diet!” She tried again to get through the door but I wouldn’t let her. I hastily grabbed her upper arms, willing to do anything to make her listen to me.
“Do you even hear yourself Anna?! Yes, I’m leaving tomorrow! And I’m leaving you, like this. How the hell am I supposed to handle that?! I’m scared shitless that you could lose control and there isn’t going to be anyone around to notice, because i know how you like to keep things hidden. but I see past it, I always have. But not everyone is like me! So shit, I’m SORRY for being concerned about the girl that I love. I wasn’t aware that that wasn’t allowed.”
“I’m not some helpless child, Harry! In case you weren’t aware, I took care of myself quite fine before you came along!” She was screaming at me, her eyes becoming glassy, but her voice not losing it’s agitated tone.
“Bloody hell is it really that difficult for you to admit that you need help for once!? It doesn’t make you weak Anna, it makes you human.”
“Even if I did tell you I needed you, that I wanted your help more than anything… Would it even matter?! Like we both said, you’re leaving tomorrow. And yeah, these past few days i’ve been putting on a strong face because I don’t want to worry you, but i’m so scared! I feel like shit all the time and I don’t know how i’m going to be able to handle it on my own. But I don’t want you to see me like this. And I think deep down you don’t want to see me like this. You want me to be this perfect thing, this untouchable girl-”
“You do NOT seriously believe that?!” I burst, irritated out of my mind that she seriously thought something like that about me.
“So what if I do?!” We both stopped, my breath caught in my throat. We were standing close to each other, our bodies practically touching. I haven’t got a clue who reached for who first, but we both did. And suddenly, the entire moment was heated in a whole different way. I picked her up, setting her down hastily on the counter. Her legs wrapped around my waist, pulling me into her. I groaned as her lips moved down my neck, nipping my collarbone, and again back up to my jawline. She bit down gently on my lower lip, enticing my further. My hands roamed her body, going under her loose shirt and caressing her skin.
“I need you.” I moaned into her ear, pressing myself to her more so she could tell just how desperate I was. She giggled, electrifying my entire body. I lifted the shirt off of her, letting it fall to the ground. She was wearing a light pink bra and tiny grey pajama shorts. My hand moved from her waist to her collarbone, going straight to the tattoo. I looked at it, a smile growing on my face. It was perfect.
I pulled her into another passionate kiss. But these weren’t soft, gentle kisses. These were desperate, passionate kisses; the kind that made me feel like we were being rushed, which I guess we sort of were.“Shit, why do you always do this to me Styles?” My name on her tongue was the sexiest thing I had ever heard and just made me need more and more of her. But before I had the chance, she was ripping my shirt over my head, my curls being pushed into my eyes, which I just shook away. Her hands instantly found my bare skin, my muscles tensing under her rough touch. Her hands moved to my back where I felt her nails scratch down the skin, sure to leave a mark.
I finally pressed my lips back to hers, kissing her hungrily. I managed to pick her up, my hands secure under her bum, and walk us from the laundry room, through the living room, and into our bedroom. It was a complete disaster; clothes strewn everywhere, the bed unmade with the duvet half on the floor. But right now, not a single one of these things mattered. All that mattered was making her feel good and happy and complete and holding onto the memory of this last day together for as long as I possibly could.
Harry’s tan skin is clammy, the same as mine. His dark curls fall into his face as he hovers above me, tracing the outline of my lips with his finger. But before I knew it, he was back to possessive, sexy, i’m-gonna-get-what-I-want Harry, which I couldn’t exactly complain about. He harshly kissed me, pinning my wrists to the bed. I rarely saw him like this; It was fresh and exciting and I relished in every moment of it. I surrendered to him, letting him do whatever he pleased. Harry knew my body better than anyone else ever could. He knew exactly what to do to make me surrender to him.
“God, Harry.” I heard myself moan at one point, lacing my fingers in his hair and tugging, needing to have some sort of release. This just led him on more, causing my toes to curl and my breathing to sped up.
A while later, Harry had dozed off slightly. I looked at the clock; 4:07. Just about 15 hours left. I turned on my side, examining Harry’s perfect features. The sun was low in the sky, casting strange shadows and rays of light around the room. His dark hair showed streaks of gold in this light, illuminating his entire face. I felt yet another round of tears fill my eyes, just a few falling down my cheeks. It felt like there should be more time, I needed longer with him. But I didn’t have it. I had idiotically wasted the last two days on laundry, cleaning the kitchen, organizing his and Louis’ DVD collection…stupid things, ones to take my mind off of the situation. I didn’t feel right inside for so many reasons. The uncertainty of the future was a terrifying thought. And having to think about what Harry would be doing for the coming months, and with who. I knew he loved me and he wouldn’t intentionally hurt me. But I couldn’t help but imagine the worst possible scenarios in my mind.
And then there’s the pressing issue of where i’m supposed to go. I wish I could stay here; live in this apartment, or with Danielle or ELeanor. But I knew that was unrealistic. I also knew what was best, what I needed to do to get back to being myself, even if it killed me to admit it.“What are you thinking about?” I heard Harry ask, his voice husky and quiet. I jumped slightly. I had thought he was asleep.
“The future.” I admitted honestly.
“Because as much as we both hate to admit it, it’s here. And we’ve got to face it at some point.”
“Well that’s quite a bother, isn’t it?” Harry joked, snaking an arm around my waist and nuzzling into me.
“I’m serious, Harry. I need to tell you something.” He stopped, looking at me more seriously now. “What is it?”.
“When you leave tomorrow, i’m going to have to go back to New York.” His grip on my immediately tightened, as if he thought I was going to run away right now.
“What? Why?” He was surprised, probably just as surprised as I was with myself.
“I need help, babe. And you’re going to hate to hear that but it’s true. I have a really great therapist there and I feel like I need someone like that to talk to. It’s the only place I really can go anyway. And is it gonna be hard being around my mom? Hell yes. But I lived with her for almost 17 years, I know how to handle it.”
“I can’t believe I have you do this, go back to that. This is all my fault-”
“No, no! It’s not your fault at all. It’s no one’s fault. I don’t want you feeling guilty for this.” We both sat up and I grabbed his shoulders, shaking them gently. “You’re gonna go off on tour and be so amazing, I know it. You’re going to do so well and make me proud, okay? And i’m going to go back to New York and get better. And next fall, hopefully we’ll be able to be together again.”
“Wh-Why do you say hopefully?” Harry asked desperately, his voice cracking just the smallest bit.
“I just- I don’t know what can happen in 5 months. You never know…” This is the conversation I had really been afraid of. it had been something I had been debating in my mind for days now and it was going to kill me to tell him, but I had to.
“Are you breaking up with me?” I could hear the pure sadness in his voice, like he was on the verge of tears.
“No, i’m not. I’m just saying- I don’t want you to feel tied down, or constricted, or like i’m holding you back. So, if you go out and go to parties or clubs or whatever, I don’t know…” What was I even trying to say?
“-I’m never going to want anyone else but you!” He grabbed my hands, kissing them.
“I know, I know. Me too. But this is going to be an entirely new experience for the both of us. So I just wanted to put it out there, So you don’t feel, guilty, if anything should happen. I know things are going to change for you and the boys, I can already feel it happening. I refuse to be the reason that you feel like you can’t do all of the amazing things that you’re gonna be able to do after this tour, okay? I love you, and i’ll love you no matter what. but we can’t act like thing’s aren’t going to be different.”
“But, I don’t see why they should have to change that much! I’ll be gone for a few months and then we’ll both be back here and everything can be normal again. Anna- don’t do this to me.” He was looking at me like a scared little boy, about to go off for sleepaway camp for the first time. He was clutching my hands, not daring to let go. I felt my wall begin to crumble, the one I loved to keep built up so tall. But Harry had been the one person to knock that wall down, time and time again.
“Let’s not talk about all of this now, okay? It’s scaring me and making me even more sad. I just… wanna enjoy these last few hours with you.” I begged, leaning in and kissing him on the cheek, trying to calm him down. He let out a deep breath.
“Fine, yeah, you’re right.” He pulled me into him, kissing the top of my head tenderly.
“You do still have to pack though.” I noted the mess of a suitcase out of the corner of my eye.
“Hmm… i’ll deal with that later. I’ve got more important things to do.” Harry growled, flipping over so he was again hovering over me, is curls tickling my skin.
“Shit! Shit! Fucks sake why won’t this thing close?!” I cursed under my breath as I frantically ran around my room, throwing things into my suitcase and attempting to zipper it while it was still overflowing with unfolded things. It was 6:20 AM and I had less than half an hour until the car would be here to pick us up.
“HARRY ARE YOU BRINGIN-”
“Louis!” I snipped, poking my head out the door and shushing him. Anna was fast asleep in my bed and I didn’t want to wake her up just yet. I loved seeing her like this; completely serene and innocent. She had dropped a major bomb on my yesterday; going back to New York, living with her mum, the whole “don’t feel guilty if something should happen” thing… it was confusing the hell out of me, making my head pound. What had she meant by that? Was she suggesting a break up, or like an ‘open relationship’ or whatever that is? I didn’t want either of those things. I wanted to be able to call her from the tour bus and hotels, video chat when we could… maybe have her fly out once or twice. I wanted to make this work, but it seemed like she was just giving up on us. But now, even with that thought running through my head over and over, I still loved her more than anything. And I was still going to miss her like mad.
“Harry?” I heard her groggy morning voice say. I turned around to see Anna sitting up in bed, rubbing her tired eyes. “What time is it?” She asked, reaching for her phone.
“6:25” I said.
“WHAT?! Oh my god, I can’t believe I overslept. Are you- You’re packed?! I- I just have to change, and-” She was flustered, running around, speaking a mile a minute. I had originally said she should come with us to the airport.
“Babe, babe, You don’t have to come with me, a car is going to be here at 6:45 to pick us up.”
“What? No, I want to! I have to-!” I grabbed her hand.
“No, you don’t.You can’t. it’s okay, I promise.”
“You don’t want me to come with you?” She said, her voice dropping an octave, laced with sadness. I realized what this might seem like to her. “Is this about what I said last night?”
“Shh, no it isn’t I promise. I just- I can’t bear for you to come with us. If you do, I know it’ll just make everything more difficult. I don’t-” I paused, composing myself. “- I don’t know how I would be able to get onto the plane.”
“But I-” She stopped, catching her breath. “- Oh my god. This is it then.” Her free hand covered her mouth. “I can’t believe this is really happening.”
“Me neither.” I admitted, reality hitting me that this was all real, she was leaving and so was I and there wasn’t anything either of us could do about it. “But it’s not the end. It’s just a goodbye for a little while. We’ll both be back here before we know it, yeah?” She didn’t say anything. I needed to stop trying to make everything better, or even just make them okay. It wasn’t what either of us needed.
“Look at me?” I asked. Her eyes met mine. “No matter what you say, or how far apart we are, i’m not gonna stop loving you.” She sniffed, wiping away a tear.
“I could never.” She gave me a small smile. I felt tears rush to my eyes and i didn’t even try to hide it, I just allowed myself to cry this once.
“Harry…” She murmured into my t shirt. Her hand went to my cheek, wiping the tears away.
We stood like this for a while, just holding each other and crying, no words needed to be said.
I took a breath, trying to get myself together. “Have I ever told you how happy I am that I met you? That I got into your taxi that night… that we fell in love?” I was babbling but I had to tell her these things.
“I think you have, a few thousand times. But I never get tired of hearing it.” She looked up at me and saw the tears. But I didn’t feel ashamed, the way I usually do whenever I get a little too emotional. I didn’t care, because it was Anna.
“HARRY THE CAR’S HERE!” I suddenly heard Louis call from downstairs.
“Shit.” I said, wiping my face and taking a few deep breaths.
I brought my things downstairs and Louis agreed to meet me at the car in a minute. He and Eleanor had had their goodbye and she was downstairs talking with the other boys. I placed my bags down, turning to look at Anna. She looked so small; her long sleeved shirt covering her small hands, her messy hair… her everything. I felt my heart lurch and I reached for her, my lips finding hers for the millionth time. She gripped onto me for dear life and I think I was doing the same thing to her. When we pulled away, her face looked so pained. I needed to make her feel better, quickly.
“You’ve still got my sweater babe, yeah?” I asked desperately. She nodded, trying to hold back tears.
“You keep that, and you wear it for me, alright love? Listen to me, you’re going to be okay. I know you are. You are strong and patient and beautiful and the most lovely person I have ever met, and I love you. And when we see each other again i’m going to love you just as much as I do right now. You can count on that.” She just squeezed her eyes shut, nodding again.
“You have to know how proud I am of you. I can’t believe what you’re about to do. You’re going to have the best time of your life.” She smiled, her blue eyes piercing my heart with their sincerity. “Make me proud.” She laughed, kissing me once more.
I had to go, I really had to go.
“Do you want to come down and say goodbye to everyone else?” I asked.
“I don’t really want to be a drama queen in front of everyone, steal the limelight or whatever.” She joked.
“Babe, you wouldn’t be at all! But it’s whatever you want.”
“I just- I don’t think I can. This is all hard enough. But um, tell them to have an incredible time and be safe, okay?”
“I will.” I responded. “Alright, I should really go.” I said, making no effort to break away from her grip.
“I know you should…” She said, pulling away. I picked up my carryon bag and grabbed the handle of my suitcase. This was all turning out to be quite dramatic which I didn’t want for Anna, but I wasn’t sure what else to do.
“I’ll see you soon.” I stated simply, kissing the top of her head. She tilted upwards, leaning into my ear.
“Have fun” She said simply, kissing my cheek.
And with that, I walked out the door.
The moment that door shut, I went into full-on panic mode.
What did I do now? Where was I going from here? How long would I be away?
But before I could make any of those decisions, I ran and swung open the front door, just in time to see Harry step into the elevator. Once he stepped inside and turned around, he saw me. I lifted a hand, waving meakly at him. He raised a hand too, waving back.
Neither one of us said a word, and we didn’t need to. I watched the door close and waited a few minutes;
He was gone.
An entirely new feeling suddenly washed over me; one of complete and total loneliness. I began sobbing uncontrollably, unable to stop myself, especially since I was alone now. I made it all the way to the bedroom door, stumbling inside and falling into the bed we had both been lying in together not too long ago. Enveloping myself in the duvet, I soaked in Harry’s scent which lingered. His pillow was still indented where his head had been, and the glass of water he had gotten last night still sat on the bedside table. I was acting ridiculous; like he had died or something and I was in mourning. But it was kind of a death of something. It was the end of our first chapter together. I didn’t know what would happen next with me, or with Harry. But for now I couldn’t think about that. All I could do was reach for his sweater that was lying on the floor next to his bed, pull it on, and relish in the fact that the most amazing curly-haired boy in the world loved me. And I wanted to be happy, healthy, and ready for our next chapter together when I saw him next fall.
To Be Continued…
PS. THIS song is one that i’ve used as inspiration for this story for a really long time. It’s a great song and when you listne to it, you’ll know why it works with this story :)