The Direction of Fate

When Ellie Harper's parents ship her off from Australia to live with her brother in Holmes Chapel, England, the arrogant and obnoxious Harry Styles enters her life. Their frequent encounters have them both suspicious, but Ellie shrugs it off as just an irritating coincidence. But the more they see each other, the more she questions if this is something more than just chance. And it doesn't help that she has vivid nightmares involving her quite dominant and sadistic curly-haired neighbour.

Was this the direction of fate, or was the universe honestly burdening her with this pompous boy band member?


29. Awkward Introductions

"Ellie!" Lottie screamed as she practically tackled me in a bear hug. Completely winded, I gasped, "It's good to see you."

     Noah was next to get out of the dearly missed Prius parked in the driveway, and he looked up at the house only to say, "Well, at least it's still intact."

     I smacked him on the arm and he ruffled my hair. "How was the tour?" I asked.

     "Fantastic!" Lottie said before Noah even got the chance to respond. "They loved the gigs and they cashed so much from merch and did I mention my boyfriend is a hot band member?"

     Yours and mine both.

     With all Lottie's ramblings, I wasn't sure when the right time would come around to tell her about Harry and I. When I'd asked Harry a few days ago when I should, and he said we'd cross that bridge when they got back. He seemed pretty confident in that, but I was positively nerve-wracked since today was that day. I looked back at the memory of when Noah had criticised One Direction on the radio after I arrived here and laughed at the odds of me dating a member of the exact same band he shamed. How time flies.

     "So what's been happening since we've been gone?" Lottie asked as they settled their bags inside and she put the kettle on. I sat down on the kitchen bench stool and contemplated the answer to that question.

     Well, in two months, I woke up in the backyard because of increasing nightmares; found out that my neighbour is world-wide famous; kissed two members of the same boy band; had my heart broken by one, then I was serenaded outside my window. Oh, and did I mention I am now dating Harry Styles?


     A knock on the door cut off my hesitant speech, and I almost knew exactly who would dare to come over right now when my brother just got home. I considered not opening it, to teach the person on the other side a lesson, but when Noah said, "Go fetch the door," I had no choice but to. Better me doing it than them- at least I could slam it in his face.

     Harry's broad smile greeted me, and I returned a scowl. "Really, the bridge is being crossed right now?" I said, glaring tightly.

     "Right now," he smirked.

     "Who is it?" Lottie called from the other room.

     "Aren't you going to let me in?" Harry asked with a slant in his wayward smirk. God, he must be enjoying the look of discomfort on my face right now. I was so not prepared to announce my relationship to my brother and to his giddily girlfriend (who would thrive off this knowledge, might I add). But Harry knew when they were arriving home, and he didn't miss a beat on what could set my embarrassment ablaze.

     "I'm going to kill you," I hissed through my teeth, but Harry merely grinned smugly and slid past me into the house. A waver of his fresh cologne lingered in his wake, and that's when I really came to terms with the situation that was about to unfold. He wasn't just a friend or tutor coming over, and no matter what, Lottie would want to know exactly what level we were on. But would Harry beat her to it?

     Lottie peeked her head out the doorway and noticed him standing there before she came over and said, "Oh, hi!"

     "Hi, I'm Harry," he said, shaking her hand.

     "Of course I know who you are- I'm Lottie, Noah's girlfriend," she said, completely flustered.

     "And Ellie is mine," he said, snaking his arm around my waist. Lottie's big, bright eyes widened a fraction as she looked from Harry to me, growing more intense as the seconds passed. Oh god, I wanted to be anywhere but here right now. Do you think I still had a chance to get that ticket to Zimbabwe?

     "Wait, what was that?" Noah said as he entered the room.

     Out of tension and pure anxiety of my brother now seeing a boy cuddling my body, I pinched Harry beneath his ribs. "Ow-I'm Harry, Ellie's boyfriend. It's nice to properly meet you."

     As they shook hands, I felt as if this was some petrifying awkwardness between my boyfriend and my parents, and even though they weren't here right now, Noah and Lottie came horribly close to taking their place.

     "You're actually dating my sister?" Noah scoffed. I sent him a spiteful glare, but Harry just said, "I bet you think I'm insane, and to be honest, I think I am too."

     They actually laughed together. They shared a mutual snicker at me. Having to cope with Noah and Harry's humour separately was one thing, but combining could be potentially lethal.

     A short silence ensued, which Noah and Lottie took the opportunity to cough awkwardly and venture back into the kitchen. I closed my eyes and tried to imagine that the whole thing didn't happen- and that Harry wasn't grinning smugly.

     "Anyway," Harry said, looking down at me. "I came over to ask you what you wanted for your birthday."

     Oh yes, my eighteenth birthday was looming this week, which I'd once looked forward to for as long as I could remember. I was born the earliest in the year over all my friends back home, which meant I'd be able to buy alcohol and cigarettes legally for them instead of scamming off others at the risk of being caught. With England stifling those plans, the glory of our ideas seemed to obliterate. This new life didn't involve drinking and smoking, so now my eighteenth was just another birthday.

     "You don't have to get me anything."

     "I know that, but I want to. Maybe a little powder? Your cheeks are looking positively red."

     "That's because you just rocked up and humiliated the shit out of me!" I snapped after we were out of Lottie and Noah's hearing range.

     "Are you ashamed that I'm your boyfriend?" he mocked hurt.

     "I'm ignoring you," I said blatantly. I sounded like a stubborn child and looked like one too with my arms crossed and back to Harry. But two strong arms wove themselves around my waist and his lips found my cheek.

     "Mm, for how long?"

     "You think that's working but..." -I flustered as he trailed his hands down my hips- "'s not."

     "I'll ask you again; what do you want for your birthday?" Harry asked over my shoulder, kissing the skin.

     "Harry-! My brother is literally in the other room!" I said as I squirmed from his heated grasp. As much as I wanted to kiss him right now, I had to remain persistent and alert in case either Noah or Lottie were to catch us. And that I was partially mad at his arrogant ways. "Just don't get me anything, okay. My birthday isn't a big deal."

     He rolled his eyes and sighed before pecking my lips. "Oh well, you just don't get a say now."

     Harry had only popped around quickly for the pleasure of meeting Noah and Lottie properly and to ask me about my birthday, and he had to meet up with the band after he was done here. Once I shut the door behind him, I leaned against it with a sigh. Merely seconds passed before Lottie was already jumping from the kitchen doorway with the look of pure shock and curiosity.

     "When. Did. This. Happen?" she said as she took one step closer to me, her mouth forming the perfect ‘O'.

     I cringed and said, "About three weeks ago..."

     "And you didn't think to mention that you're dating probably the fittest lad on the planet?!" her voice was getting higher, and so were my anxiety levels.

     "Oi, I'm literally right here," Noah called out. Lottie tutted him and continued to fixate on me. "I'm literally shocked that you didn't tell me and that didn't even find out!"

     "It's not a big deal," I huffed, and I almost thought I heard Harry's snickering from across the street.

     "I can't believe my sister is dating the kid from One Direction," Noah shook his head, a look of bewilderment on his slightly stubbled face. "I barely understood why he had time to tutor you, but to have you as a girlfriend too? Poor boy."

     "So is this how you spend your tutoring lessons- snogging?" Lottie squeaked.

     I felt my blush returning to my cheeks, and I noticed Noah cringe and turn away. "No!" Well that was true, before three weeks ago...

     "We were gone two months!" Lottie threw her hands up in the air. "What else have we missed?"

     A lot more than just Harry, I thought to myself.




I found myself standing in front of the bathroom mirror once again, which felt like a regular occurrence lately. As usual, two blue pills lay in my palm. I'd take a few minutes staring at them, admiring the craftiness of the smooth as marble surface, carved almost perfectly in an attempt to conceal the fact that they were compacted drugs for the purpose of merging my nights into days and nothing in-between. What I honestly didn't expect was its ability to successfully do exactly that. Falling asleep was a numbed process, and I remained immobile until the ring of my morning alarm clock buzzed my wake. I hadn't dreamt since the night Harry gave me them, and the nightmares didn't attempt to struggle against the medication. I thanked God that it worked. Having Harry find out about my dreams so early in our relationship had me terrified he'd run for the hills after making the horrible mistake of getting involved with a nutcase. It caught me off guard when the Harry of my subconscious made an appearance in the company of his doppelgänger. I hoped I'd never have to feel that wretched fear ever again-or the possibility that Harry wouldn't be next to me when I woke from another nightmare. So I downed the two tablets with a glass of tap water and hid the packet behind Lottie's old bottles and ointments in the overhead cupboard.

     I took slow steps to my bed, crawling under the covers that once had me flinching with dread. Somehow, over the last week, I'd manage to find peace within myself to fall asleep without tensed shoulders and anxiety eating away at my stomach. Having Harry next to me the first night to comfort me into the new sleeping pills and be there if they didn't work allowed me to ease into slumber securely. I could already feel myself falling that little bit more every day for him, and even after today's embarrassment, it just reminded me that the audacious Harry I'd met from the beginning was still there. The other day I got asked at school by a curious fan how I felt about dating the famous Harry Styles from One Direction, but the question should have been how I felt about dating the curly-haired, British boy across the road who introduced himself with a basket full of Band-Aids. And my answer was, "I could not be happier."

     My phone buzzed and the bright backlight filled my room with a soft glow. 1 unread message flashed on the screen and I opened it.

     You make me so incredibly happy. Sleep soundly, Ellarie. Harry x

     With a smile on my face, I did exactly that, and not a flicker of a nightmare spoiled that happiness. 

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