But I'm in Love With You

If I could burn my memories, I would. If I could take a lighter to a series of photographs and words and music and everything I associate with him, I would. And if I could show you everything I’ve seen, you’d burn them too.

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10. #10

Scarlett

I wake to the buzz of the phone on my pillow. Fumbling for it, eyes still wedged shut – I will succumb back into sleep after this one, I will – I press blindly on the screen, hoping for the best.

‘Hello?’ comes a voice, and I place the phone against my ear. I do not utter a word but simply listen to the gentle rhythm of Zayn’s breathing. ‘I know you’re there,’ he says finally.

‘What’s the time?’ I mumble.

‘Three a.m.,’ he replies, to which my eyes shoot open. The slight hue of light has not yet broken, but my eyes still manage to sting in relative darkness.

‘Why are you calling at this time?’ I ask, perhaps a note of annoyance in my voice. Pause. Actually, why was he calling me at all? I had presumed that he would have got the message already.

He blusters out a sigh. ‘Can I crash with you until morning?’

Strange, is my reaction: my eyebrows do not rise in surprise for it would not be the first time that he had slept in my bed – sleep being the only thing – but my eyes do close shut for a brief moment. Sadness or longing came into it somewhat, and not longing for it to be more for I knew that that would not happen, but longing to tell him that I was leaving. To tell him of my mother’s illness, that she would soon die. That she would soon die and I would soon be alone. Entirely alone. My eyelashes brush the skin above my eyes as they flutter open once more, and I sigh softly. ‘Where’s Eugenia?’

Pause. ‘She doesn’t believe in just crashing,’ he mutters. He sounds embarrassed and, for the first time in what feels like a millennium, a smile curves my mouth.

‘Then what on earth does she believe in?’ I prod.

And, with delight, there is a ghost of a smile in his voice too – but only a ghost. ‘You know what,’ he says softly, and there is a moment of silence whilst he coughs a small chuckle. ‘So, can I crash with you? I’ll be out by early morning.’

Gone are the days when he would sleep in my room until early afternoon, dress in my room, order food to my room. I’m sure when the cleaners came around to tidy his supposed room after our entourage left, they found a room that was perfectly pristine – almost as though no-one had even touched the sheets. Which, of course, they hadn’t.

I press my eyes closed once more, and wished for the umpteenth time that something would change and I wouldn’t be forced to leave. Somehow, however, I find that hard to believe in. ‘Bring a pillow.’

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