Chapter 8: A Funeral, and A Stolen Kiss
I woke up on a snowy morning in December. It was the Friday before the formal and it has been about a month since Kayla had been discovered-dead. It was still surreal to me, not having my best friend there anymore, to talk to about Harry, or Louis or Liam, or about anything going on. I climbed from my bed and went to my closet to get ready for the day.
I pulled out my cheer uniform (Emerald green, with the letters RHS on the front in gold with silver crystals and the straight skirt to go with it) and put it on. Today was the Formal Football game and I had to wear my uniform.
I put my hair hair in half up half down with a white bow and pulled my warm ups on. I applied my make up, grabbed my things and went down stairs. I made my cocoa and turned on the 6 AM news.
“New evidence comes to light in the mysterious death of seventeen year old Ridgeport Senior, Kayla Johnson. Stay tuned, we’ll be back after these messages.”
I nearly dropped my hot chocolate to the floor. Evidence? It was suicide! That had been determined a month ago when she was found. Wasn’t it? I grabbed my phone and saw Harry was calling me. I answered and heard his panicked voice immediately.
“Abby? Abby, tell me you didn’t see the news,” he said, and I heard a car door close. I knew that would be him having just pulled into my driveway.
“Sh,” I said as I heard the door open. “They are about to tell us what happened to my best friend.”
“Abby! Abby, turn off the news, now!” His voice was only coming from my phone and not behind me. I turned and could hear him yelling. I was too distracted by the police standing in my kitchen, with guns drawn and pointed at my head.
“New evidence came to surface late last night in the apparent suicide of Kayla Johnson, seventeen. While it had seemed she destroyed the school she attended in a fit of rage, and loss it is now apparent that someone else was with her that night. Fingerprints were found on her body that could turn this suicide into a case of cold blooded homicide. Police will not reveal who they are bringing in for questioning but many people interviewed about the subject at the school believe that Varsity quarterback, Harry Styles, Varsity running back, Liam Payne, talented singer at Ridgeport, Louis Tomlinson and Varsity cheerleader, Abigail Harington are prime suspects. Kayla’ s parents had nothing to say about the suspect list, just that their daughter was an energetic, fun loving Varsity cheerleader who gave everything her all and wanted to be a photographer when she grew up.”
"They think it was me? You think I killed my best friend?!" I screamed.
"Abigail, we just need to ask you and your friends a few questions. No one thinks anything," a policeman said, still having the gun pointed right at me.
"Then lower your weapon," another voice said. Harry's voice.
"Harry!" I cried running to him, throwing myself at him and crying into his chest. "They think is was us, they think we killed her," I sobbed.
"You were with me at Liam that night. Louis was at his house, crying about your fight, they can't charge us with anything."
"Can anyone confirm those alibis?"
"Her mom can vouch for us, Louis parents were in his room with him all night- they told me that this morning. Now, I suggest, unless you have valid reasons except "Well they said so," that you leave. She's been through enough," Harry said protectively.
"You are in no position to-"
"Who is in my house?!" my mothers angry voice rang through the kitchen.
"Mrs. Harington, we need to question your daughter for the murder of Kayla Johnson,” the man who I was guessing was the leader of this group, said, still holding a gun at me and Harry.
“Right, because my daughter, who was here crying her eyes out with Harry and Liam would have been at the school at midnight!” She yelled angrily.
“Ma’am, we just need-”
“You don’t need anything. She was here, not there. She didn’t kill her best friend, now get out of my house! Arrest my husband when he gets back from the USA for beating his daughter and stay out of our lives!”
The man lowered his weapon and said, “I don’t see any bruises on her, you have no proof.”
“Yes, we do! We do have proof! My stomach is black because of him!” I yelled, reaching for the hem of my shirt. Harry grabbed my hands, stopping me.
“Abby, don’t,” he whispered in my ear.
“I need to, I need to not keep this a secret any more,” I said, pulling my hands away from him and lifting the hem of my shirt to just above my belly button and revealing the black bruises that covered it.
"We need to investigate this matter. As far as we know, your mother did this. We need access to the security camera's. We will be back after the children leave for school."
I really wasn't all that fond of this police officer. I stepped closer into Harry when he walked past us and I glared at him. He wanted to ruin my life! How dare they say I killed her! What did they have besides Nina saying I did? Hadn’t they put me through enough? Hadn’t Kayla?
I didn’t deserve to be put through anything more. I’d had enough!
Harry hugged me closer to him and took me back up stairs so I could fix my makeup, or decide if I even wanted to go to school. As he and I made our way to my room, I remembered what else today was.
I couldn’t believe how stupid and selfish I was! I ran up to my closet and pulled out a black dress. It was floor length, and strapless with a corset on the back. I put on black heels and went back down the stairs. Harry looked at me, questioning my outfit.
“Today isn’t just the football game,” I said going to my mirror and taking my hair out of the pony tail.
“What else- Oh, that’s today?” He asked, remembering just as I had.
I only nodded and continued to fix my hair, curling it and putting it half up. I reached for the make up brush and Harry put his hand over mine. “Why do you wear make up? You don’t need it, Abby,” he said.
“Yes, I do. I’m not pretty, I’m not special, I don’t even know why you would want to be with me.” I ducked my head down and felt the tears coming. I ran away from him, into my bathroom and sat in the corner. I rocked myself back and forth, trying to calm myself. The Winter formal was next week and if I didn’t stop moping around, Harry would tell me to forget about it and he would go with someone else. Someone more pretty, more special, more right for him. Which is something I am not.
There was a knock on the door and Harry asked me to open it. I loved him, I really did, but he was crowding me. I needed space to deal with Kayla committing suicide. He couldn’t seem to grasp that fact. I opened the door and looked him straight in the eye.“Harry, I love you,” I said.
“W-what?” He asked, a smile forming on his lips.
“I love you,” I stated. “But just, give me some space okay? I need to.... Deal with this. My way, my rules.”
“Please? Just go to the funeral with me, give me two days after that and I promise, you can be around as much as you want.”
He nodded and looked down. “What time is the funeral?”
“It’s in half an hour,” I said quietly.
“Are you ready to go then?” he asked. I wanted to say no, I wanted to skip this, but I couldn’t, I knew that.
“Yeah, I guess,” I said.
Harry put his arms over my shoulder and we walked down to his car. I climbed in the passenger seat carefully and didn’t look at Harry the whole way to the funeral. What did I just do? I told the one person who loved me, and who I loved to back off and leave me alone. What? What would make me do that? Why would I do that? I wanted to sneak a peek at him, and see his beautiful face, surrounded by the brown curls that has all the cheerleaders wanting him. That left every girl wanting him.
And I had him. And I was fucking it up.
Sneaking a peek at him, I saw his sad green eyes, tears silently rolling down his cheeks, his fingers clenched on the steering wheel. “Harry?” I asked. “Are you okay?”
He didn’t answer, and I didn’t need him to. I knew he wasn’t okay. And I was the cause of that. I made him upset, I told him to leave. This was all my fault. I had to fix this... I needed him.
“Don’t. Don’t start. I’m coming off too strong, and right after Kayla... I know I need to back off. But, I love you too much. I can’t back off, don’t you understand that? I love you, Abby. And I can’t leave you alone in the middle of this! I won’t!”
He screamed at the end. I flinched back and looked away from him. Back out the window, watching the ran slap down onto the pavement, his car, other cars, making a sound I could only describe as gunshots. “But.... Why?”
“Why do you love me? There are so many other girls you could have, so many other people right for you, and I’m.... Not.”
There was an icy silence that followed that, as Harry either fuming, or thinking, just looked out the window, eyes on the road. We sat in silence for five minutes before he quietly spoke.
“Do you really believe that? That you aren’t pretty enough, or right for me?” He asked.
“I do,” I stated.
“Because, I need makeup, I’m skin and bone and I’m abused. You don’t want someone like me,” I said as we pulled into the cemetery. “I’m worthless.”
He reached for my hand and I let him hold it. He pulled into a parking spot and put the car in park. He made me look him in the eye as he spoke. “Look at me. You are not worthless. You never will be worthless. Anyone would be lucky to have you. Anyone! And everyone wants you! Louis even does, that’s why he’s jealous. Because he’s just as madly in love with you as I am. But, you don’t see how much I love you.”
Louis was in love with me? Since when? I didn’t get a chance to voice my question though as Harry kept on talking.
“So, I guess if you won’t listen, I have to use action too.”
“Action? Harry what are you-”
I was cut off by the very soft, yet very lovely and smallest kiss on my lips. It was a small kiss, nothing one could even remotely assemble with making out. Just a peck, filled with love, and a whole new thing for me. A place just opened in me. Where Kayla had left a locked heart with her death, Harry had managed to unlock with just that faint kiss, and my true feeling for him, wanting to be with him, loving him with not just my mind, but my heart, my soul and wanting to be with him always.
As he started to pull his face from mine, I pulled his head back to mine, this time crushing our lips together, showing him, telling him, I knew how much he loved me and how much I loved him in return.
We pulled apart and I smiled at him. The first real smile I had smiled since Kayla’s death.
“Abby,” Harry whispered. And then I remembered where we were.
“The funeral!” I cried, throwing my door open and running over to where her grave would be, Harry hot on my heels.
I cried. All day. All damn day. I shouldn’t have gone to school after the funeral. I would've had Harry drop me at home, but I thought I could make it through the day. Fat chance.
I was welcomed to the school with stares, people calling me freak, bitch, slut,whore. Anything you could think of, I was called. And Harry defended me, let me tell you. He didn’t take people calling his girlfriend a whore very lightly. No sir. We both got called to the headmaster's office a total of five times before lunch! And that’s where we were now; lunch. On our roof, away from everyone.
I couldn’t let what they were saying about me bother me. I couldn’t let it get to me, I refused to let it! At least, that was the plan anyway. And it failed. I did take that stuff to heart, and I wanted to cry about it when Harry would stick up for me.
I couldn’t deal with it anymore!
“Abby?” Harry asked.
“I’m fine, I’m fine,” I said as tears started to fall onto his shirt.
He put his hand under my chin and made me look up at him.
“No, you’re not. are you really believing what they are saying about you? You should know you’re not.”
“Harry, I’m fine. Just worry about X Factor! Don’t worry about my problems. Just focus on your try outs.”
He suddenly pulled away from me and stood up. He paced around the roof as I stared at him. “Harry?”
He threw his hand up in frustration. “You don’t get it, Abby! Try outs aren’t until summer. I’m allowed to worry about my girlfriend! You’re being called a whore and that’s not okay!”
“No, let me talk. I’m concerned for you, okay? After Kayla died, I thought you would commit suicide! You didn’t have anything left in you because you wouldn’t let anything in to help recover! There were so many nights when I stayed up late, couldn’t sleep because I was afraid the news might tell me that the girl I love was dead!”
Love? Love? Did Harry Edward Styles just say he loved me? Me?! That he thought I would commit suicide? That I would kill myself, because of Kayla’s death? Was he serious? I couldn’t tell. Love?!?! Not possible! Harry was a player, I knew that! He shouldn’t be concerned for me! He doesn’t actually love me. Right?He’d said it before, but I always thought he was kidding. He wouldn’t love me! I wasn’t special!
“Suicide? You thought I would kill myself?” I asked, stopping myself from asking the question I really wanted to know the answer to.
“Yes, I thought you would,” he said, sitting across from me, his curls seemingly frozen in the wind, his cheeks and nose red, his eyes watery. “And I would have been right behind you.”
“No. No! You have so much to give! You’re voice, it’s amazing! You’re gonna be famous someday, and it’s gonna be for singing. Me? I’m nothing in this world. I’m not talented, pretty or anything that can get me anywhere. I’m plain and ordinary. But you aren’t. Promise me, Harry, that even if I ever do kill myself-not that I’m going to- you WON’T do anything drastic. Okay? Can you promise me that?”
He shook his head at me. “All this shit is coming down on you and you’re concerned about me?”
I nodded, desperate.
“Well, then here’s my answer. First off, you are gorgeous. Not pretty, not beautiful, gorgeous. You have so much to give too, you aren’t ordinary, you are special. Never forget that okay? And I can’t promise that. I will do something drastic. Punch a wall, punch the person who caused it, and kill myself. I can’t live without you, Abby.”
I looked at him, and stood up. “Well, then what do you say we go show those people how much we love each other,” I said, a small smile playing on my lips.
He stood up, eager. “You mean it?”
I thought for a second. The wind whipped my hair all over the place, made my eyes water and my nose sting. Thoughts whipped through my head, did I mean it? Did I really love him? Really? Yes. Did I want people to know? Yes. Do I know people will get pissed for us doing this? Yes. Did I give two shits? Hell no. I wanted people to know, I wanted Liam and Louis to be happy for us and know that I loved him back.
“Yes,” I said finally. “Yes, I mean it.”
He jumped up excited and pulled me into a hug and kissed my forehead. “I love you, you know that?”
I smiled. I could see it in his eyes. He loved me. He really loved me. “I love you too,” I said. And I meant that. I really loved him.