Safe & Sound

its new, hope u guys like it!!
​I remember you said,
"Don't leave me here alone."
But all that's dead and gone and passed tonight.

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1. Let the rain fall down, I'm coming clean.

The weather’s chilly this afternoon, evident by the paper thin layer of frost on the window. She’s inside, engulfed by the warmth of the coffee shop, but it doesn't soothe the icy feeling in her chest. She’s nervous. The rough edges of her bitten fingernails confirm it. She wonders if she’s doing the right thing and, if she is, will it be worth it?

Her fingers grip tightly around her mug and she brings it to her lips, sipping the hot liquid. Usually, her macchiato tastes sweeter. Today its bitterness is enough to decide against finishing it, and yet she keeps it in her hand, letting the steam vapor into her skin. Perhaps if she inhales it enough, it’ll convince her she’s ready for this.

She considers leaving a bit of change on the table and bailing. It would be easy to call him on her way out the door and make up some excuse about traffic, car problems and the sort. But as much as she would love to do so, she has to remember this isn’t about her. She can’t be selfish simply because she’s not good with confrontation.

The watch on her wrist reads five minutes past the hour. Wonderful, maybe he forgot. Maybe he’s the one who chickened out, saving her the trouble of doing it herself. But her hopes are crushed when she spots the familiar head of hair by the front entrance and curses under her breath. There’s no going back now.

Their eyes meet and the smile on his face is uneasy. He removes his hands from his jacket pockets to tell the host he doesn’t need a table before approaching her, looking down at his boots with every stride. From a distance, he looks identical to the boy she knew. Same disheveled wavy curls, same broad shoulders, and same classic emerald eyes. But once she rises to greet him and takes a good look at his face, it’s obvious he’s older. The last remains of baby fat have disappeared. His jaw line is more prominent and his face itself is slimmer. He’s grown up.

“Kennedy,” he grins, matching her movements as she hesitantly opens her arms for him.

“Hey,” she motions to the chair opposite her own, “I didn’t order for you in case it went cold before you got here.”

He removes his jacket and drapes it over the chair before sitting. “That’s alright.”

It’s clear he’s trying to treat this as a normal going-out-for-coffee-with-a-friend thing, but he’s failing. Miserably. His foot starts tapping the moment he meets the underside of the table. It’s too complicated for him to successfully treat this like any other meeting.

“You look great, Harry,” she tells him with a smile, “Have you gone taller?”

“A bit,” he blushes, “You look great as well. Dyed your hair, yeah?”

She runs her finger along a small bit of her brown hair, forgetting that it was a much lighter shade the last time he saw her. “Needed a change,” she tells him.

They catch up for a while after Harry orders a cappuccino. After the routine small talk about how cold it’s been in London lately and what on earth’s going on with petrol prices, she learns his parents are well, his older sister’s studying psychology, and he’s recently bought his first car. Most of the conversation is about him not because he doesn’t ask about her but rather because she dodges the questions so well, turning them around instead so he’ll go on talking for a few minutes more.

“Gemma nagged me for weeks to give her your phone number,” he tells her, “She wanted to know how you were.”

Kennedy laughs nervously, remembering all the evenings she scrolled through her cell phone, ignoring each notification of a missed call from his older sister. They were once friends, but she knows chances are Gemma wants nothing to do with her anymore. She doesn’t blame her. She broke her brother’s heart.

“I wanted to know how you were, too,” Harry says quietly.

She glances up from her empty mug, meeting his eyes. She wants to scream out the truth. He would understand. She knows he would. But she bites her tongue.

“It’s been three and a half years, Kenn. Why now?”

After a deep, unsteady breath, she flashes him a smile he knows is as fake as her confidence.

“Just wanted to tie up some old ropes,” she tells him, her voice a bit too high, “Life’s too short, you know. I didn’t want to leave things where we left off.”

“Our ropes are fine.”

She wants so badly to believe it, but she doesn’t. “You and I both know that’s not true, Harry.”

His voice begging her to stay all those years ago replays in her mind and she can’t look at him across the table out of shame.

“Things happen,” he replies.

“I’m sorry, Harry,” she quickly tells him, keeping her eyes down, “I shouldn’t have just left out of nowhere. I should have sat you down and explained.”

“Explained what?”

For a moment, he can see the resistance melting away in her eyes. He can tell that whatever this is, it’s enough to scare her, and he knows from experience that Kennedy Ellis is hard to scare.

“Do you want to see my apartment?” she rushes to change the subject, “It’s just down the block.”

Harry wants to object and push her to answer. Explained what? But he refrains. He accepts her offer and pays the bill, standing up to help her put on her coat.

She didn’t lie about her home not being far from the coffee shop. When he volunteers to give her a ride in his car, she politely declines, pointing to the flat building just a walking distance away. He knows the area. It’s not a popular one nor is it much respected. But he lets her carry on about how it’s convenient, close to the shops and hospital, and all her own.

“Sorry in advance for any mess,” she murmurs as she turns the rusted knob and pushes the front door open, “I never get company.”

He steps in, immediately greeted by a wall he didn’t see coming. It’s a tiny flat. One bedroom, one bath at the most.

“Have a seat. Want something to drink?”

He seems distracted on his way to her couch, glancing around at her mismatched furniture and the few photographs on the wall of her family.

“No, thanks. I’m all coffee-ed up.”

“Alright, if you change your mind, let me know.”

She escapes into the kitchen, shakily pulls out a lukewarm water bottle from the pantry, and chugs it down, crossing her fingers that it will ease the nausea in the pit of her stomach.

When she returns, Harry looks uncomfortable with his hands crossed neatly on his knees and legs too long for her petite sofa.

They sit in silence for too long, broken only by occasional compliments he makes about her home. He comments on the most minuscule things—the wallpaper, the rug beneath his shoes, the vintage side table beside the recliner—but he honestly can’t understand why she’d want to live here when her parents have such a large, lovely house just ten miles up north.

He waits for her to talk about why it was so important for him to meet her today. Why she sounded so desperate on the phone and why, right now, she’s forcing all of that anxiety to stay buried inside now that he’s here. He can tell she’s about to make her first move when she opens her mouth, but it’s just his luck playing out when the loud, obnoxious doorbell rings, interrupting whatever she’s about to say.

She apologizes for the disturbance, but something tells him she’s a bit thankful for it. She rises to her feet and moves to answer her visitor.

“Sorry for cutting it short, Mrs. Ellis, but I have to run.”

“That’s okay. Thanks, Edith.”

Harry can’t see who she’s talking to at the door, but once she’s back in his view he feels a mixture of shock and pleasant surprise grow on his face.

The toddler in her arms is bundled in heavy jumpers and jackets, ideal for the cold. He watches intently as Kennedy enters the room and takes her seat, balancing the child on her lap.

“Edith wasn’t supposed to drop her off for another half hour or so,” she says quietly, beginning to take off the tiny hat and unzip the coat. Once most of the extra garments are removed, Kennedy turns the child around on her knees to meet him.

“Addison, this is Harry. Can you say hello?”

He finds himself smiling at her already despite the fact that she doesn’t greet him. She simply stares at him, quite indifferent, her eyes scanning over his features, trying to decide if he’s a friend or foe. Her face is a striking resemblance of Kennedy. Hazel eyes, olive skin, and bouncy brown locks of hair. She even has the mile long eyelashes and tendency to make her nerves ten times more obvious on her face than a normal person’s. The possibility of why that is dawns on him and suddenly he can’t feel his toes.

“Sorry, she’s shy,” Kennedy chuckles. Addison pushes her face close to Kennedy’s ear and asks her something not meant for Harry to hear.

“Yes, you may. But don’t make a mess,” Kennedy responds. The child jumps from her spot on Kennedy’s lap and trots toward the dining area where a few toys are lined up against the wall. Harry wonders how he didn’t notice them before.

“Kenn, she looks just like you,” he whispers, turning back to her.

She nods proudly. “I’ve been told. You should tell her. She likes to be told she looks like her mum.”

“I don’t think she likes me,” he chuckles.

“She will. She’s not good with strangers, but she’s friendly once she gets to know you.”

By the looks of Kennedy, Harry never would have guessed she’s had a child. Her body is virtually unchanged from their college days.

“How old is she?” he asks.

“Almost three.”

He nods, unaware of Kennedy’s softening tone. The child looks smaller than an almost three-year-old but not by much. He looks over at her playing in the adjacent room and smiles when she gives her stuffed animals bubbly voices.

But then, the more he thinks about the time period and the way her hair spirals at the end and that last memorable night he spent with Kennedy, the emptier his chest feels.

“She’s mine, isn’t she?” he asks, barely audible.

He turns to look at Kennedy, not sure if he’s dreading her answer or not.

“Yes,” she whispers, “She’s yours.”

A/N

bet u did not expect that!! 

JK 

but hope u guys like it.

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