No Exceptions

Hollyn Brooke Miller, is a dancer. She dances away the pain. She hides away her past and pushes anyone and everyone who tries to enter her life away. She's afraid if anyone does come into her life, they'll leave her. Just like everyone else.

When she meets Harry Styles, will she change her "rules" for him? Will she let him and the boys into her life and risk them leaving, lilke every other man in her life? Will she risk it all ... for love?

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8. Birthday Surprises

“Happy birthday!” I heard six familiar voices practically scream, as my bedroom door opened. My mum and those five childish voices. I sat up in shock with a huge smile plastered on my face. My mum had 4 big balloons in her hand, and the boys ran over and jumped onto my bed.

They each hugged me one by one. “What are you guys doing here?” I asked them. “You’re mum called us yesterday and told us it was your birthday and if we wanted to spend it with you. Why didn’t you tell us it was your birthday?” Zayn asked. I shrugged, “I don’t know. I guess it never came up.” It was the truth. I guess I just forgot.

I wasn’t used to this. This whole “birthday” thing. Yeah, my mum and I would have cake, but I usually spent that day by myself. I’d stay in my room, or go to the studio and practice while no one was there. Maybe I’d go to the cemetery for a while and just sit and talk to myself.

“Well, we’re spending the day here. And we’re gonna have so much fun, you won’t know what to do with yourself. Got that?” Louis smiled. I laughed, “Yeah, I’d like that.”

We spent the whole day at my house. We stayed in the backyard and went swimming and fooled around. It really took my mind off things, most of the time.

“Holly, what’s on your mind?” Harry asked, snapping me back into reality. I shook my head, “Just a whole bunch of things.” It was four in the afternoon and the boys and I were sitting on the grass in my backyard, enjoying the sun. I wanted to do what I did every year. Visit the cemetery, but I couldn’t because the boys were here, and I couldn’t just leave. It’s my party.

I stood up and brushed off my legs, “I’m going to the bathroom.” I left the boys alone to talk and walked inside my house. My mum was sitting at the table, drinking tea and watching the news. “Something wrong, love?” She asked me. I nodded and sat in the chair next to hers.

“I can’t stop thinking about him, mum. It’s so hard. Today’s not just my birthday.” I massaged my temples gently with my hands as I spoke. “It’s our birthday.”

She eyed me sympathetically. I don’t think even she knew what to do. Neither did I. I always broke down like this on my birthday. It hurt me that he didn’t make it. It hurt so bad. Why was I the stronger one. Why’d he have to die? Why wasn’t I the weaker one? I just wish that it was me. Why couldn’t I be born that way?

“I need to go buy a cake.” My mother told me. I smiled, as she stood up with her keys in hand. I followed her to her car and wished her a safe drive. I walked into my house, into the living room, and stopped at the fireplace. Just above it is where we kept pictures. Not many, only about 4 or 5, but they meant a lot to the both of us. There was one of the four us. There was one of only us. Tucker and I. We sat there, only the age of two, with big, cheesy grins on our faces. We were so identical, in many ways. Other than the fact that I was a girl and he was a boy, and that he was hooked up to a some sort of machine all the time, we looked the exact same. We were inseparable.

“Who’s that?” I heard a voice behind me, making me jumped a little. I turned around to face him. It was now or never. I could see the desperation in his eyes. The way he looked at me told me how badly he wanted to know. But he didn’t want to know just for the fuck of it. No! He wanted to know to help me. He wanted to take away my pain and suffering. He wanted me to finally be me and let my past go. I couldn’t hold on forever, and I knew that, but I did try. Oh god, how I tried. I was afraid to let go. I didn’t want to forget about him.

I stayed strong as I stood in front of Harry. It wasn’t like me to breakdown into tears at the thought of my brother. It just hurt too much to think at times. “That, that’s my brother….” I said strongly. I didn’t let any tears fall, even though they were lurking just around the corner.

“W-what happened to him?” He asked cautiously, afraid of my reaction, I could tell. He didn’t want to break me, any more than I already was.

“He died.” I spilled. My stomach turned as I spoke. “We were born premature and he got it the worst. He had only one good kidney that they could salvage and his lungs were very weak.” Harry took a step closer to me, but I took one back. I didn’t want to be comforted. I knew that if he tried, I’d just break.

“I was strong and healthy, and didn’t need much. They, the doctors, were very surprised that he made it to the age of four. He was in and out of hospitals his whole life. On and off machines.” A few tears escaped from my eyes, blurring my vision. I didn’t bother wiping them away, I knew more would soon fall. “He had his good days though. Ones where his breathing was wonderful and he wasn’t sick. Everyone was so proud of him.” I reached up and touched my necklace, looking down at it. ”That’s why my dad left. He claimed we were too much, he couldn’t handle it all. Everything reminded him of Tucker.” I furrowed my eyebrows together, thinking hard about what I was going to say next, ”What about us? Did he ever think of our feelings? How was I supposed to feel?” I questioned myself. I wasn’t really speaking to Harry anymore, but I was speaking to myself.

I looked down as I spoke, afraid that if I watched Harry I’d choke with each word. “He blamed me. It was plain to see. My mum always said he didn’t. How he left because of his own problems, that I had nothing to do with it, but deep down I know it had to do with me. It had everything to do with me.”

I gripped the necklace charm between my fingers, “That’s why I won’t let myself get too close to anyone anymore. That’s why I don’t have many friends. I’m afraid to lose them, like I’ve lost everyone else.” I opened my eyes and looked up. I couldn’t see. My eyes were blurred with salty tears. “They leave. Everyone leaves.”

I wiped my eyes with the back of my hand, “I don’t want to get hurt again.” I said looking up again. Not only did I see Harry standing there, but I saw the rest of the boys right next to him. They all had tears in their eyes. They looked at me with such pain. They looked as if they felt everything that I’ve felt in my 14 years without Tucker. In that moment, I guess they did.

“Stop looking at me like I’ve gone mad.” I cried. They didn’t know what to do. Harry took another slow step towards me, testing to see if I’d take another back. I didn’t. He walked up to me and wrapped his arms around me, holding me close to his chest. I was all cried out. I kept my hands close to my chest. “You’re not mad, love. Far from it.” He whispered softly into my ear, sending shivers down my spine.

“I’m sorry.” My voice hoarse from the crying.

“No, don’t be sorry. You did nothing wrong.”

“I’ve been pushing you a-“

“And you had every right too.” He squeased a little tighter, holding me closer to him.

“No, I didn’t. You never did anything to hurt me, and you didn’t deserve it.” I wriggled my arms out from in between us and wrapped them around him. The boys came over and joined in on the hug, turning it into a group hug. A big one.

It was one, huge crying fest. “It’s not your fault.” Liam said softly, “I bet we’d all do the same.”

We stayed that way for what seemed like forever, but it couldn’t have been more than 5 minutes. We all pulled away and wiped our eyes. “I feel better,” I said as I pushed my hair behind my ear, “telling you guys. I don’t know what would’ve happened if I kept that in all my life.”

“You’d die all alone,” Zayn smirked, “with 14 cats.”

“That’s not that bad.” Harry said, causing everyone to giggle just as my mum walked in with the cake.

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