My Brother's Best Friend

Jasmin Smith is no one special to the eyes of the public. A normal pretty barmaid at a pub, a talent for singing and a flat in London. But not too long ago, Jasmin received some horrible news. Her twin brother, her other half, James has passed on, and she is now alone.
Jasmin and James are originally from Holmes Chapel, and James's best friend was no other than Harry Styles. The two boys lost touch when Harry started getting whirled around in the famous life, but even after all the time that has passed, Harry is devastated at the news of James passing away. When he and Jasmin meet by chance, he makes it his mission to help her recover after the great loss she has suffered, and perhaps recover himself with her help. He feels it is his duty towards James to protect and shelter her, but never did he expect that those feelings should grow much stronger than that.

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10. Chapter 9

Harry texted me an hour before my shift ended saying that he'd pick me up at seven thirty. That was thirty minutes after my shift was done, so I stuck around helping Charlie unload the truck. We lost track of time when one of the other waiters in the pub Kristian came out and helped. He was really funny, and we ended up laughing and joking. He was so strong he just threw around the liquor boxes like it was cotton fluff whereas I got all sweaty. When I looked at the time again it was seven twenty, so I hurried to the back of the pub. Luckily, we had a shower for drunk people that vomited in the back that I could use. I had to dry myself off with a dishtowel because we didn't have any normal ones though. I heard the bell go off in the front and cursed under my breath. I had a change of clothes ready at the pub though, also for when drunk people vomited. Sometimes they'd hit us. Gross, I know. But unfortunately, it was a uniform. Oh well, I thought. Better than being sweaty. I yanked on the clothes and frantically reapplied my makeup, though I never wore much. When I was finally done I rushed through the door into the pub and saw that curly mop standing there. He turned around and smiled at me, his green eyes gleaming. The only contact we'd had since the awkward kiss was the text he'd sent me today. I was nervous about how tonight was gonna go, but Harry was all I had now. I had to try making the best of it. I walked over with a smile and hugged him. He lifted me off the ground and spun us around in a circle making me giggle. 
"Hey Smith." He joked.
"Hey Styles."
"Let's go. Charlotte's waiting in the car." He said and led me to the door.
"Bye Charlie!" I called at the back room. I heard a muffled shout back, so I guessed that it was him and moved on with Harry. Truth be told, I was a little disappointed that Charlotte was coming. But the night was about meeting new people anyway, so I shrugged it off.
"Where are we going?" I asked as Harry led the way down the street towards a big black car. Inside it I saw Charlotte's hair flowing down the back of the front seat.
"Just a small gathering of old friends." Harry said. He opened the door for me and closed it behind me when I was seated. I knew I shouldn't feel that way about it, but it had been a long time since any guy did that for me, and even if it was just Harry it was still nice.
"Hi Charlotte." I said out of politeness. She only gave me a strained smile and looked back through the windshield, but as soon as Harry got in she was joy itself, though she would only talk to him. Every time Harry tried to get my opinion on something she would interrupt with a change of topic before I got the chance to speak, but considering what happened last time Harry and I hung out, I didn't really feel like I had the right to complain. Instead I just looked through the window and thought about which old friends Harry could possibly be talking about. James used to have friends, but I was just that loser sister that hung around with her brother and his best friend because no one else wanted to be seen with her. 
We finally pulled up at some semi wealthy building by the looks of it. I got out and breathed in the fresh air. The mood in the car was so tense. I felt like I couldn't breathe. Harry led us to the door and rang a doorbell. It was probably the most annoying thing I ever heard, oh wait, I'd heard Charlotte's nasal voice... Anyway, the door was opened by one of Harry's old friends that I didn't remember the name of. But apparently, he knew me.
"Jasmin! So lovely to see you again! How's your brother?" He boomed and hugged me. I found that weird at first, but when I got closer I smelled alcohol. That explained it.
"Let's not talk about that." I mumbled.
"Come on in!" He exclaimed. I looked gratefully at Harry. "Thank you" I mouthed to him and stepped inside first. A bunch of people got up and greeted me, and though the night was still young most of them reeked of alcohol just like the guy that owned the place. A girl that was a little bit more sober got up and introduced herself as Macy. 
"I don't know if you remember, but we used to sit with each other in English. And you fell asleep on my schoolbag one morning." She said with a sly smile.
"How could I forget? That bag was soooo soft. Do you still have it?" I joked.
"Believe it or not, yes I do." She laughed. Her laugh was contagious, and soon enough we were both guffawing over one of the guys walking into a door. Literally.
"Your face got all crumpled before when John mentioned your brother. What happened? Did you two have a fight?" She asked freely. I didn't even mind answering her with total honesty.
"Oh God no! We never fought. James had a tumor in his lung. He hid it from me for years and his body gave in a little while ago." I explained.
Macy looked around the room and I followed suit. Everyone had gone silent. All traces of life and laughter was gone. Only staring was left. All eyes in the room were planted firmly on me.
"I'm so sorry for your loss." Macy said and touched my arm gently. A bunch of mumbled "My condolences" and "sorry for your loss" -es followed. I mumbled a small "thanks" and looked down at my feet.
"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have asked." Macy added.
"No it's fine." I waved her off. "You guys should know." 
Slowly, the room regained its cheery mood. Macy pulled me along to get something to drink and as  soon as we were alone in the kitchen she started questioning me.
"How long has it been?"
"Can we not talk about it?" I asked her. I didn't mind much, it was just that with Harry in the next room I knew that he'd get all protective of me if he found out she even asked.
"Of course. Here. I'll make you something strong." She said and poured a slotch of vodka in a big glass.
"I'm gonna pretend I didn't see how much vodka you just put in there." I chuckled.
"Oh it wasn't that much." She lied with a smile.
"Hun I work at a pub. I know what I'm talking about." I laughed.
"Just shut up and drink it." She giggled and shoved it into my hand. I usually wasn't a big drinker since my job included washing off drunk people every now and then. I had seen what alcohol could do, and I didn't want to end up like some of the women that came into the pub for a few nights before getting thrown out by Charlie and Kristian. But I had plenty of things I wanted to forget. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad killing some braincells. I took the cup and chugged about half of the glass. The warm feeling that followed spread all the way to my fingertips. 
"Come on, let's go back in." She said and pulled me by the hand.
The night was all laughs and drinking for me. I let go completely for once and it felt good.

Of course I didn't even consider that it wouldn't feel so great in the morning. 

"Oh my God it's alive!" Harry snickered. I slowly opened my eyes and blinked them a few times before I could see him properly. 
"Where am I?" I asked. My head was throbbing and my throat was parched.
"At my flat. On my couch. You're welcome by the way." He chuckled.
"Shit. How did I get here?"
"Wow you were really drunk last night. You don't remember? I practically carried you here." He laughed. The sound ripped at my head and I flinched.
"Oh sorry."
"No I'm sorry. I shouldn't have let go like that. Thank you for carrying me and letting me crash. I'm gonna go home." I said quietly, to not make my head ache even more, and tried to stand up. The pain in my head got so bad it made me blind for a second, and I fell down. I felt Harry's strong arms catch me and put me back on the couch. I was pretty sure that I could see now if I wanted to, but the light hurt my eyes, so I kept them closed.
"Easy there tiger. I'm gonna give you the full hangover treatment before you go anywhere." he said. I hear him walk away and return. When he did I felt a cold wet rag on my forehead and something cold being stuck in my hand. I slowly sat up and opened my eyes. A glass of water was in my hand and I gratefully gulped it down. Harry sat down on the coffee table in front of the couch and looked at me strangely.
"What are you staring at Styles?" I groaned.
"You're a bit of a weak drunk aren't you?" He smiled.
"Yeah I am. Do you have some painkillers here?" I asked him. He shook his head.
"Your body already has enough chemicals in it. You need something else entirely. I'll be back in a second." He explained and left for the kitchen. I closed my eyes again and when I opened them I saw him holding out a steaming glass of brownish liquid. I took it and looked suspiciously at him.
"What's this?"
"Warm ginger ale. Seriously, it's a hangover miracle." He said and sat back down on the coffee table. I took a sip and immediately felt the relief tingling its way through my head. We stayed silent as I drank the rest, and by the time I was done my headache was considerably smaller. 
"Thank you Haz. But I really should get home now." 
"Are you sure? Charlotte will be up any second. We could all go out for brunch or something?" He offered. I laughed softly and looked away.
"What?" He asked.
"Harry Charlotte hates me. How have you not noticed that?" I laughed. He actually looked a little hurt, but it vanished quickly from his eyes. 
"No don't think that! She just takes some time to warm up to people!" He said.
"Let me ask you Haz, did she know anyone from that party yesterday?" I questioned him.
"No why."
"I might not remember most of last night but I remember her sitting in a couch with some of the others, laughing till the tears ran down her cheeks. Come on Haz. Welcome to reality." I laughed and patted his cheek gently. Another though occurred to me.
"By the way... did I do anything stupid last night? Anything that I'll regret later?" 
He sort of woke up when I spoke to him again after staring off at the floor, realizing that his girlfriend loathed me.
"No don't worry. Other than giving your phonenumber to creepy Collin of course. He'll probably have texted you about a thousand times already. You might want to block that guy. He sorta turns into a creepy stalker when he dates people. Hence the name." He warned me.
"I'll survive that. Heck if someone is really bothering me Kristian will go all pissed on them."
"Who is that guy anyway?" Harry asked.
"Part of the family at the pub. He's been there for about the same amount of time as me. He's a good friend. He and James were sorta friend too I think." I explained for him. 
"Yeah I think he has a thing for you."
"Why would you think that?" I asked skeptically and crossed my arms.
"Just the way he was looking at you." He shrugged.
"That is so weird Haz, I'm gonna go home. Did you bring my stuff here?" I asked.
"Yeah it's all by the door. I'm gonna go shower. I'll see you around." He said and hugged me before disappearing down a hallway. I shook my head lightly at him with a smile and found my purse and my coat. I was still in my spare uniform, and it was freezing outside. Even though I was dressed warmly in that old coat I still shivered the whole way home.

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