Summer With Styles

Macey Calihan is a grown woman now, and when she comes in contact with an old box of keepsakes, she remembers a series of incidents that made her the woman she is today. As a youngster, she was struggling with past occurrences of suicide, self harm, and of course depression, all while trying to balance out the good and bad things of her life. She was so close to happiness when her adoptive parents informed her she and her brother, Carter, would be going to the U.K. to spend the summer at her father's recording studio. She then meets the boy -- or boys -- who save her life, only to pick it up and wreck it again in a new, exciting way. Macey falls head over heels for one, while another falls for her. The only thing standing in her way of happiness, is one decision. But as it turns out, some decisions make themselves whether you like it or not.


2. Set Me Free


The U.K. was monotonous. No, that's an understatement. It was living hell. Besides the fact I couldn't understand a damn thing anyone said, I had to spend every day and night with him. That boy. He was always under my skin, and looking me up and down whenever I was near. He felt peaceful but he was no good and I knew it from the start. Right when he bet me for a date...

He was still on my case about it several days later, and I denied him every time. He wasn't worth the effort, because in the end he would leave just as everyone else had. My parents, for instance. They left me there to fend for myself, yet there I was in a deluxe condo drinking the expensive Starbucks coffee that Harry insisted I should try. It tasted like death and chocolate, but I took it as a nice gesture, or maybe a bribe.

“Harry seems really into you,” Joe said, nudging me in the ribs while I made him a sandwich. It was one of our usual father/daughter chats that I hated, and he had me tied to his hip in conversation. “You should go out with him. It'll do you some good to have a little romance.”

“Don't be stupid dad,” I said in an offensive manner. “He's a troll.”

“You're wrong,” he protested. “He's a fine young man, and you have my blessing. But that Zayn boy...absolutely not. Don't you even think about going after him.”

I laughed a little and replied, “Trust me, you have nothing to worry about.”

Or did he? Zayn was very cute, mysterious, and bewitching to the extremes. He had taken a place in my mind – in the back of it somewhere – and it was only good thoughts. If I hadn't known any better, I might have said he was just what I was looking for.

But then came Harry. Again, while on break at the recording studio.

“Did you like the song?” He asked seemingly happy to see me there.

“Not at all.” His smile turned to a frown until I assured him I was only joking. “I really did like it, but it would be better performed over a Vivaldi track.”

“That's ridiculous, Verdi is ten times better than Vivaldi.”

“You're wasting your breath, Styles, Vivaldi is a legend. And you're just ignorant!”

“Ignorance is bliss, you fool!” He shouted back, holding back a giggle.

“I'd rather be intelligent than blissfully stupid!” I threw the fake insult back at him, dancing on my win over the argument. Nothing like good old playful bantering to lighten your spirits. I laughed, only this time it wasn't a fake haughty chuckle, but a real whole-hearted laugh that came from the light in my eyes. Somehow – by some spirit of the gods or pause in time – Harry Styles brought life back into me.

Just like that.

Had I not just concluded my hatred for him, or was it canceled? It wasn't there anymore by some unusual circumstance, and Harry Styles had proved himself that he wasn't only just a young boy looking for a good time. He was – in fact – a grown man searching his way in life. Searching for a girl to love him...and he just might have found her.

By some plausible explanation, Zayn and Niall ended up at our condo later that night, out of breath and shamelessly exhausted. When asked about their sudden arrival Zayn said, “Fans. Lots and lots of fans. We got mobbed down by the cinema and your place was the closest.”

“Do you have any food?” Niall asked without hesitation.

“Sure,” I murmured, pointing towards the kitchen. “Help yourself, I made Swedish – ”

“YUM! Thank you!” He interrupted and darted for the refrigerator, making copious amounts of racket and fighting for the plates in the cupboard.

“Is he always like that?”

“Always,” Zayn laughed, taking a spot beside me. In the mix, Joe had wondered off somewhere and it was now we two alone together. “He eats nonstop all day.”

I said nothing, more or less, you could say I wasn't much of a hit when it came to talking to guys...or girls...or people in general. Strange as it sounded I wasted my life on thoughts, not actions or words. Only the meaningless mind jumbles of a seventeen-year-old disaster. My life revolved around being forlorn and pessimistic.

Finally Zayn broke the silence with his kind voice. “I know you're – er – ” He clearly had something to say, or ask, and was nervous to do so. But nevertheless he continued without further disinclination. “I know you're not into dating right now, not even Harry.”

My mind concocted a cynical alibi that would pull him away from the subject, but I waited impatiently for him to finish so I could let him down gently. It was official that I – Mackenzie Quinn Calihan – indeed had a crush on Harry Styles. But how would I break it to Zayn? He seemed hard and constructed on the outside with his many tattoos and his bulging muscles. But, on the inside, I knew he was softer than silk.

“I was thinking that maybe, if you didn't fancy him so well...maybe you'd like to go out with me sometime. Before you say no, let me just say that I know how it feels to be lost, and you just need someone to care about you. I'll be that person, if you'll let me.”

The idea of Zayn was like the living on the knife-edge of genius and insanity.

But I was no genius, nor was I insane.

And I couldn't accept his offer.

“I'm sorry,” I said with guilt plaguing my entire existence. “You're such a great guy, and so kind and handsome...but I want to keep certain options open.”

“Options like Harry?”

Should I tell him or... “Yes, like Harry.” Too late.

To my surprise, he took it fairly well. He said that if he couldn't be more to me than a friend, then a friend is what he would be. I thought it was nice to be able to open up to someone, to have a friend other than Gema that could actually relate to me in some ways.

The sun bared down through my wide open window, the breeze flowing inward without invitation, waking me. My eyes fluttered opened and my arms stretched outward, taking in the amazing feeling of happiness for the first time in a while. Why was that? Him.

I hoped to see his face as I ventured into the family room, but everyone was gone but Lizzie. She greeted me with a smile, still wrapped in her morning robe, watching the latest episode of “Desperate House Wives” on Netflix. “Hello, darling,” she sang, shoving a handful of popcorn in her mouth. “Did you sleep well?”

“Actually, I did,” I said as I took the seat beside her and took some popcorn for myself. “Where is everyone?”

“Your father took Carter down to the shops. Something about family bonding or something, honestly I have no idea what they're up to.”

“And the boys?”

“I don't know. But brush your teeth and put some clothes on, we're going site-seeing.” She stood up and clicked the TV off, taking off her robe to reveal a flowery summer dress she probably spent hundreds of dollars on. I groaned and stomped off to my room, taking a quick shower and throwing on some shorts and a halter top. I slipped on my favorite pair of converse and met Lizzie back in the living room, ready to roll. “Where to?” She asked politely shoving me out the door.

“What about the Royal Opera House?” I suggested, assuming she would agree since we go there every year. “Or maybe the Tate Gallery?” But I hadn't a clue Lizzie wasn't up for anything historical or tedious.

“No, I saw we just go to the IMAX and catch a movie.”

“That's not sight-seeing.”

She rolled her eyes, sighing, in despair of my opinions. “I've got it!” She said suddenly. “How about the aquarium? I know how much you love watching animals.”

“True,” I laughed, letting her lead the way to a cab.

I thought that if maybe I made a run for it I could ditch this “spending time together” day, but that plan fell flat when she gushed about how much she missed hanging out with me. Apparently, I had been so “distant” and “detached” that she was beginning to think we didn't have a family connection. Furthermore, I deliberately tried to coax her into going for the opera, but I failed and we were at the aquarium within due time.

“BOYS!” My mom cried out as she exited the taxi before me. Her arms spread open as she took each of them in her arms, one by one, until finally I saw who she was hugging.

“Harry!” I gasped. I didn't know what to do with myself other than smile awkwardly as he embraced me, fully body on body. It lasted a bit longer than I anticipated, but I refused to complain. Being with him made this “sight-seeing” more worth it second by second.

“Join us, will you?” Lizzie encouraged them. “It'll be so much fun to have you tag along!”

“It smells like fish in there...” Louis mumbled. “I don't like fish...”

“Sassafrass doesn't like anything today,” Harry stated. “He's in a bit of a mood since our show got canceled tonight. But we'd love to join you.”

Zayn's eyes met mine only for a second before they darted back to the ground, and he shoved his hands into his pockets. Locking with those chocolate browns reminded me of our little chat, and how I thought I had let him down easily, but he looked heartbroken regardless.

We saw the sharks first – my favorite, and Harry and I talked so long there watching them that the rest of the group had left us behind. “Looks like it's just us,” he said, wrapping an arm behind my waist. I removed it, and immediate reaction to such a turn on. “What's the matter?”

“I've just...” I stumbled over words to say, though I really had none. “I just don't do this. The cutesy stuff.”

“I'm sorry.” He hung his head shamefully, probably gearing in his head a valid excuse for performing it in the first place. “It's rude of me to think I could come on so strongly before taking you on a proper date, which I would have if you just said yes.”


“Yeah, really rude.”

“No, yes.”

“Yes, no, or no, yes?” He smirked. I wasn't sure if it were a game to him, or if he really was confused, but I tried to play it out and get to the point of ending my damsel in distress.

Yes I will go on a date with you.”

He smiled the biggest, flaunting smile I had ever seen in my life – pearly white teeth with those amazing little dimples. His eyes beamed at me, smitten by my existence and even I could see his admiration for me.

A feeling, or something...somewhere, deep inside the pit of my stomach. The world was contorting and spinning out of control, struggling to find a way back to normality. Flying. Higher than the spirits of eagles. Butterflies is what most people would call it.

“I have an idea!” He shouted, grabbing my hand and leading me to a door that said, “Authorized Personnel Only” with read lights above it.

“Where are you taking me!?” I laughed, letting him drag me along, running now, full forced and anxious to see what he was up to.

He opened the door and we headed up flights and flights of stairs, until finally we reached the coral reef exhibit that looked almost like a fantasy world. I looked down into the very large tank, breathless at the sight of its beauty. “Welcome to our first date,” he said, putting a snorkel on my face.

“I'm not getting in there!” I shouted as he dipped himself into the water. “Harry Styles you're a blithering idiot if you think I'm gonna – ”


My feet were tackled and abruptly, I was wrestling with him under the water, dodging his grabby hands and his kicking feet. We surfaced face to face, though not intentionally.

It's like clockwork – our faces just inches apart, and we can't do anything but stay hooked in each other's gaze. No words or sounds played a part in this moment, but our lips did as they fell closer and closer, folding the gap between strawberry chapstick and silky smooth intoxication. A kiss – no, an everlasting touch of a lifetime – became us.

It was he, on that day, who stole my heart.



I pulled the piece of coral from the keepsake box Harry had broken off just for me. He also got caught, banned, and had to pay for damages, but that day was worth it. Holding the treasure in my hand, I remember the girl I was during that kiss, comparing her to the girl I am today – my wedding day. I'm the same girl, but loads different on the inside. More structured and aware, and free. Harry Styles set me free.

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