Leave Me Alone

17 year old Nichole Richardson transfers to Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School to study music, but not everyone is so friendly. 18 year old Harry Styles gets a kick out of making Nichole's life hell. Will she pressure through, or will she break and return to America?

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2. Choices

I didn't bother waiting for Niall and Harry to come out. I ran out straight to my aunt's car and went home. I had a lot of homework and I didn't need a bunch of popular guys to deter me from my course. I just wanted to graduate on time and go back home. I hated it here. Nothing's been the same since that day. I had to be sure that my secret remained in tact. If people at school knew, they'd never look at me the same. That's why I can't let anyone close to me. Especially Harry and his friends. They'd just use it as another reason to tease and torment me. That's the last thing I needed right now. I sighed as we pulled into the driveway and got out. Home. It's only temporary, I told myself. Once you finish this year, you can return home.

Homework got repetitive after a while and I knew that I needed fresh air. A walk in the park. It had always relaxed me back home and there's no reason why it shouldn't work here. I left my books sprawled out on my bed, open, and spilled on my black ballet flats. Grabbing a light white hoodie, I stepped out into the world and felt the stress leave my body, slowly and completely. I knew from the tour a few months back that there was a park about two blocks down. Not too bad. The wind picked up slightly and I pulled on my jacket.

Nearing the park, a familiar scent hung in the air, one I thought I had left back home. The impact of it brought back memories I tries to bury.

"Nikki, pass the bowl! Don't be such a hog! It's not only yours," my friend, Amanda, laughed. I cracked a smile. "Oh, please. I paid for it. I'll take as much as I want!" I retorted. She rolled my eyes, and got up and took it from my hand. I flipped her the bird, but laid back in my chair and relaxed.

I shook away the memory and entered the park, despite the voices inside my head telling me not to. Nearing the center of the park, the smell only got stronger as my willpower got weaker. A break in my mantra of, 'keep your calm, Nikki,' a voice flowed through. A familiar voice that I wish I didn't know too well. A few feet more revealed Harry, sitting on the fountain edge, surrounded by his friends. I spotted Niall easily enough, sitting to Harry's left, bowl in his hand. I shook my head. Unfortunately for my stealth, my hair rustled the leaves beside me and Niall lifted his head in my direction. Our eyes met and I slinked back. Niall turned to Harry and said something to him. Harry laughed, throwing his head back, and Niall punched his arm, but got up and walked towards me.

"Nichole, why are you here?" he asked. I looked down at my feet. The smell of weed hanging on his breath and clothes. He stepped closer and the scent enveloped me. "I-I was doing my h-homew-work and got stressed, so I-I went for a walk," I stuttered, trying hard to keep my cool. He laughed. "And you managed to find the one group of people you hate during a smoking session," he assumed. I half smiled. "I don't hate you guys," I whispered. He barked out a laugh. "Yeah, right. And I'm the Queen," he joked. I looked up and saw his blue eyes twinkling with mischief. "Oh, well, hello, Your Majesty. What do I owe the pleasure of this meeting?" I laughed.

Someone cleared their throat, causing us to leave our world and focus on Harry and a tall boy with black hair with a blonde streak standing behind Niall. I felt my face burn red as Harry looked at his best friend with an unhappy look in his eyes. I stepped back again. "No, Nicole. Don't leave. The fun's just started. Hasn't it, Niall?" Harry practically hissed. Niall cringed. I don't think he's seen Harry this mad. "Do you smoke, Nichole?" He asked me. I shook my head vigorously. "No, not at all. Well, not anymore," I whispered. Harry's lips formed a tight smile, evil apparent in his features. My heart began to race. Harry was terrifying enough sober. What could he do when he was high? And outside of school?

Harry grabbed my wrist and carefully pulled me back over to the fountain with him, although I wasn't sure if he was being careful for my sake of his own. Plopping me down on the cold stone, he handed me the bowl. "Harry, don't, please," I begged. He laughed. "Come on, angel, loosen up. I heard that back there. Not anymore? You've done this before. You know what you're doing. Just one hit. Then you can go," he promised. I sighed. Maybe I can get him off my back, I thought. Shaking, I lifted the bowl to my lips. Harry handed me his lighter, his fingers lightly touching my palm. the skin burned where her touched. Instead of jumping away, I wrapped my hand around the lighter and lit the bowl and inhaled hard, my throat filling with the smoke that I had been avoiding for the past six months. I quickly passed it away to the boy who came over with Harry earlier. I glanced over at Harry, who wore a shit eating grin. "Do you want to leave now, Nicole?" he asked. I didn't know. Part of me screamed, begged, to finish the bowl with the boys, to show them what I could handle. The other part had logic. It came up with every possible reason for me to leave, every possible thing that could happen if I stayed. yet, despite my better judgment, I smiled at Harry. "I'll stay," I told him. His smile wavered for a moment, but quickly came back. "Really?" he asked, shocked. He seemed excited. I just nodded. "You're a cooler person than I thought. Now why do I pick on you," he asked, humor in his voice. I looked down again. "Maybe because of the major fact that I'm American and you were raised not to like us," I whispered. He stared at me. "How do you know that?" he asked. My eyes, made invisible by my hair, flashed to Niall, who acted like he missed our entire conversation. I lifted my head to Harry, composure regained. "Lucky guess. back home, it's assumed all Brits are taught to hate us. We guessed that it was taught in school or church. Guess not," I lied effortlessly. I was hoping he was too high to catch on. He looked at me skeptically, but shrugged his shoulders. "I guess," he said simply before taking the bowl that had come back full circle.

Hours later, I had arrived home. Harry sobered up and offered to drive me home with the rest of the boys. I reluctantly agreed, ignoring the part of my brain that told me not to tell him where I lived. Still high, I stumbled into my dark house. I glanced into the living room for the time. It was close to 11 pm on a Thursday night, which meant my aunt either went to bed early for work or is out with some of her friends. Either way, she'd kill me if she knew I was high right now. I worked my way up to the bathroom, my right hand gliding along the wall. I opened up the door and groped the wall until I found the light switch and proceeded to blind myself. I turned on the hot water and stripped down. I showered quickly, rinsing the scent of the drug off of my skin and down the drain. I clambered out and wrapped a towel around my body. I threw on some pajama shorts and a tank top, dried and brushed my hair, threw it into a messy, damp bun, curled up under my blankets with my stuffed cat my mom won me at a fair when I was fifteen, and quickly fell into a dark, deep slumber.

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