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?

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2. “You’re mine.”

I lightly closed the front door behind me, feeling instantly warmer than I did outside. My body was still trying to adapt to the sudden change in seasons. Australia was scorching and the sun peaked brightly, but here I hadn't seen a crack of blue through the overcast sky.

     Lottie's head of blonde curls peaked out from an archway, and she smiled at me. "Oh good, you're back!" she exclaimed, her bubbly British accent brightening my mood away from the dreariness outside. "How was it?"

     I thought back to my walk and how good it felt to stroll in solitude in an old village as I entered the little kitchen. The walls were a pale chocolate, intricate cream flowers designed on the wallpaper. Lottie was leaning against the pearly kitchen bench with a magazine in her hand.  After I determined my answer and thinking that there was no need to mention my near-collision with the bus, I replied, "All I can say is that you really picked the perfect place to live."

     "If it weren't for Noah, I'd have never even thought about living in Holmes. I have a lot to thank him for dragging me away from London. It never occurred to me how much it sucked living in the city until I came here."

     "I totally agree," I said. "I've lived in the city for the most of my life, but I already feel the change in lifestyles. This place is so different-of course, in a good way."

     Lottie leaned further over the bench, her eyes wide and admirable. "Noah told me you weren't like normal teenagers, but he never told me you'd prefer a small village over the city lights. Are you sure you aren't losing your adolescents?" she kidded. I smiled and said, "I didn't know I'd react so warmly towards this place."

     "Well, you haven't seen all of Holmes yet," Lottie said, removing her small body from the bench and walking to the fridge before clicking her tongue. "I think I'll go down to the supermarket, did you want to come?"

     Thinking that it would be the perfect opportunity to see more of my new home, I agreed. Lottie grabbed her keys and we got into the Prius.

     "Ugh, remind me to get Noah to clean this car out. I swear he just stares at it and it fills with rubbish," she muttered, and I couldn't help but laugh. Lottie and I were alike in some aspects-both of us liked it when the men kept their messes under control. Besides the fact that she had a slightly eccentric personality for my comfort, Lottie could easily be a person I'd befriend.

     She drove in the opposite direction to the one I chose for my walk, taking me further into the heart of the village. My eyes never got bored, soaking in all the new scenery, enjoying every bit of it. The fact that it was cold, dull and drizzly made everything so intriguing. Being from Australia and its accompanying sun and hot weather, the contrast was striking. I'd be swapping my shorts and tees for sweats and woolly jumpers, a change I was accepting as my plan towards the new Ellie.

     We parked out the front of a large building with a few remaining letters of the name Billy's Supermarket above the doors. The outlining prints of the missing letters were still faded into the paint with age, as was the fish and chip shop's lettering next to it. I followed Lottie inside the small supermarket, only a few isles and cash registers on offer. As she went and got what she needed, I wondered down the short beauty aisle, picking up the latest fragrances and testing their aroma. One smelt vaguely of a toilet spray, and I cringed at the thought of someone actually liking the scent and buying it. I pushed the lids back on and trailed over the little cosmetics they had on offer. By the layer of dust on the products, I noticed that people didn't buy make-up in their local shop. They also had a shelf for a limited variety of hair-dyes, and I thought back at the dozens of times I picked the jet black off of the shelf. Now, looking directly at the chocolate brown dye, I knew it was time for a hair colour alteration. I snatched it from the shelf and payed for it at the cash register, then waited for Lottie in the car as she continued to shop. To keep myself occupied, I flicked on the radio, a foreign station number appearing on the tiny display. The very British hosts were announcing the next song, a pop melody filling the car. I felt the urge to force the music to an end, but I listened anyway. After a few beats, the chorus followed through.

     "Baby you light up my world like nobody else..."

     I continued to pick up on the male voices, tapping my fingers on the dashboard in rhythm.

      "...You don't know, oh, oh. You don't know you're beautiful."

     The song was completely clichéd and solely for young female girls, and I could almost hear their screams as they listened to it. But it wasn't awful, I admitted. The tune was catchy and hit most of the elements of a successful mainstream song, and I listened all the way to the closing solo.

     "That was One Direction with What Makes You Beautiful!" the host said enthusiastically before introducing the next song.

     Lottie emerged from the supermarket holding plastic bags under her arms. She placed them in the boot and sighed once she was behind the wheel. "I didn't realise how low we were on food supplies-Noah goes through food like there's no tomorrow."

     "That was just like when we were growing up," I laughed. "What I didn't eat on my dinner plate he'd claim for himself. I had to eat fast if I was to get a decent filling."

     She reversed out of the park and said, "It's been a while since you've seen him, I'm sure you'll see that his stomach is now a bottomless pit."

     "Perhaps it's time to ration the food supplies," I suggested, watching out the window on our return home.

     "I've tried that," she muttered. "I even tackled him to the ground once after he stole my yoghurt. I made it perfectly clear that it was my dietary supplement, but he just saw it as another thing to fill the holes in his stomach. Though he doesn't even dare touch my yoghurt now, I can't quite stop him eating everything else-no matter how little there is in the fridge."

 

We got out of the car and I helped Lottie take in the plastic bags. I placed them on the kitchen bench and said, "I'll just go get the last of them."

     I headed back outside and whilst I was picking up one, the contents slipped from a rip in the bottom of the plastic, cans rolling down the driveway and into the gutter.

     "Shit," I sighed, chasing after the runaway food items. A loud and frustrated voice distracted me from picking them up midway, and I noticed someone pacing in their front yard across the street. They were yelling into the phone, a one-sided argument that could be heard across the neighbourhood in the late afternoon.

     "-I don't care if she's the bloody Queen! No, Louis, forget it. Fine!" a slightly familiar voice growled in defeat, and I immediately remembered where I'd heard it from the moment he hung up and turned around to saunter towards his front gate.

     "No way," I breathed out, the boy who saved me earlier in the day catching sight of me. We stood there, both standing on opposite sides of the road, looking at each other with the exchanged expression of awestruck.

     "It's you," he said, walking across the road to meet me on my driveway. "I was hoping to run into you again, and it looks like you need more help."

     He picked up the scattered items from the gutter and packed them into my arms. I rolled my eyes and stopped him. "I don't need your help," I stated firmly.

     He raised one eyebrow and put a hand to his chest. "Is this how you treat your saviours back home? And I was just being friendly to a foreign klutz, my bad. I always thought Australians were tough crocodile wrestlers, but you can't even manage the ferocity of the wild baked beans cans."

     I bit back the urge to laugh by clicking my tongue at him and folding my arms. "I'm not a klutz; you're just judging a book by its cover. And I am thankful, but perhaps you should sober up and then try introducing yourself to me again."

     "Hmm, your observational skills are a bit off too. This morning I said I was recovering from a hangover, which comes after getting drunk."

     I scowled at his blatant sarcasm and said, "Well then, I guess if you weren't drunk, you honestly thought you were some hot, popular guy. That makes reasonable sense; look at you."

     "You don't even know who I am," he murmured, shaking his head in the same incredulous way as our first encounter.

     "No, I do. You're Harry Styles," I stated, making his eyebrow rise.

     "I knew you'd recognise me sooner or later," he beamed. "I have quite the distinct, pretty face-it's hard to forget such beauty."

     "Actually," I said, plucking the can from his hands, "your name was on that package I gave back to you. And if you haven't noticed, I'm new here, so how am I supposed to know some local from a village I've spent one day in?"

     That smile and dimples from Harry's face fell, and he furrowed his eyebrows, lost for words. But before he could find the words to say in return, I made my way back inside the house.

     What a total egotistical boy! I thought to myself. Replaying the look on his face over and over as I shut his notion down, I found myself admiring how attractive he still looked with the speechless expression I put there. I quickly shut that thought off, remembering how ugly his first impression was. In my room, I could see Harry from the window, arms folded and huffing back to his own yard.

     What a welcoming to the neighbourhood.

     After a filling conversation at dinner, I finally felt the jet lag kicking in. It felt as if my whole body was drained from the flight, my exploration and the two encounters with the boy across the road. I allowed my body to guide itself to the bed, and I slumped onto the soft mattress and duvet with a sigh. Sleep hit me like a wave of ease, and I slipped from reality into the universe beyond.

 

Another dream plagued my mind. It consisted of the same green eyed boy, but now that my mind had the image of Harry, it clashed the two figures together to create a startling replica of my neighbour. He was standing before me, his fingers beckoning me forward. I wanted to resist, to run in the opposite direction, but every time I turned around my eyes would blur and draw to a close. My only option was to go straight, but that would mean giving Harry what he wanted. The same sadistic smile played on his mouth, those dimples pressing into his cheeks. Against my better judgement, I took one step and another until I was centimetres away from his rising and falling chest. The urge to touch his skin overpowered me for a moment, my eyes lingering on the precision of his steadiness. He raised a hand and brushed my black hair from my neck to cup it around the back of my head. Those bright green eyes bore into mine, capturing me in the swimming irises. The next thing I knew, he was leaning in, those deep lips inches from mine.

     "No," I whispered, and he paused. A flash of fury was displayed on his face before it wiped away completely, leaving him slightly amused. My body went cold all over, and I gasped for air. It was stifled by the rising blood in my throat, causing me to choke and whimper feebly. Looking down, I saw the sharp shard of glass in my chest and through my heart.

     "You're mine," he purred in his dominant voice, making me shiver. Harry supported my limping body to the ground, and I thought I saw a flash of his normal soft green eyes before the darkness took over.

 

I screamed to my wake, piercing the silent air in the shadowy room. I clutched one hand to the duvet, the other to my rapidly racing heart. The most important thing was that it was still beating, but its speed was concerning. These dreams had me frightened, though they were only figments of my imagination. But I didn't understand why they came now, when I rarely had dreams before coming to England.  I also was confused as to why my mind had chosen Harry as the antagonist of my nightmare.

     For the first time, I feared closing my eyes for the horrors that awaited.

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