She Taught Me How To Love

"If anyone asked me what impact Leigh had on my life, I could easily tell them. She taught me how to love." After four long years of a highly successful career, news of his childhood sweetheart sends international pop sensation Harry Styles into a whirlwind of emotions he believed had been forgotten all those years ago. As he struggles to become the person she always believed he could be, he learns once more that it is possible to love with the entirety of his heart.
©Ohhipstaplease 2014


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9. Don't Let Me Go

CHAPTER SEVEN

Don't Let Me Go

Rain patters onto the window panes as I sit at the kitchen table. Louis puts on the kettle and Niall sits in front of him with Emma on his lap.

"Edie knew her" I say looking out the window.

"The social worker?" Louis says busily putting water in the kettle.

"Yeah"

"Who did she know?"

"Leigh" They both turn to look at me.

"What do you mean she knew Leigh?"

"They were friends. That's why she took over the case. She wanted me to know..."

"Know what?"

"That it wasn't my fault" I say shakily.

Louis looks up at me "Is that why she was assigned to your case"

"I suppose"

"What do you think?"

"What do I think?"

"Yes, Harry, what do you think about this?"

"I don't know"

"Look mate" Louis says placing a cup of tea upon the table next to his own and finally taking a seat "It's been a rough few months"

"Try years"

"But, what I think you were given today was a bit of closure"

"Isn't closure supposed to make you feel better"

"Well, yeah"

"It doesn't"

"Why?"

"Because, I just....I just don't think this is one of those things that can just be forgiven like that"

"Harry, it wasn't you fault. You heard what Edie said"

"But what does that change? She's still dead. She's still gone. I still didn't get the chance to make it up to her" I swallow roughly "I didn't even get to say i'm sorry"

"Um, lads sorry to interupt" Niall says as he turns up the volume on the small television upon the counter. We look up and upon the screen there’s a picture of us and a newsline below “Don’t Let Me Go?”

"What's going on mate?"

He points at the screen as the report begins "Are One Direction about to head in separate directions? It seems that Harry Styles has recorded a solo demo about a year and a half ago entitled "Don't Let Me Go" which was leaked online earlier today. Could this be the beginning of the end for One Direction?"

He switches the channel and they both turn to look at me. "Harry? I remember you saying something about this, but I don't quite remember the tune" Louis says as he takes a sip from his cuppa.

I look at him blankly. I remember it too well.

–❈–

2 Years Ago

I sat there, locked in my room, staring at a picture of her.

"You know when we were little we always wished we could fly away?" I nod "Well love, I think it's time for you to fly. Sometimes you have to fly to be free"

I pull at my necklace. I never took it off. It had only been a year since she let me go, and I still couldn't forget her. I sat up frustrated. Throwing the beer bottle against the wall. How could she just let me go so easily? Why? Did she even love me in the first place? I run a hand through my hair and sigh loudly. "Leigh? Why did you let me leave!?!" I scream at her picture, smacking it to the ground. It smashes into a thousand different pieces. The alcohol in my system makes everything seem hazy. I start to feel overwhelmed. "Leigh?" I pick up her picture and brush away the glass. "I'm tired of sleeping alone" I wipe away a tear. "I'm tired of this. Why did you let me go? Why? I can't fly on my own!" I hear knocks on the door and ignore them.

"Mate?" Louis walks in and observes the scene "Let's get you some coffee mate" I nod slowly and walk towards the door. "Do you want to talk about it Harry?" I shake my head. "Alright, i'll clean this up, don't worry"

I sigh "I'm sorry mate?"

"For what Harry?"

"For always having to clean up the messes I make"

He always cleans them up, so I don't have to look at the mess I made.

–❈–

After having made me drink two cups of coffee, I sit at my desk looking at the wall. I pull out my notebook and start scribbling. There are lines and spirals all over the page. Until I start to piece together some lines.

I remember being up on the stage at the X-Factor. I remember losing faith in myself, only to have it restored by her.

"Harry, i'm so proud of you" "Oh Leigh" She looks at me "Harry, you and the boys are doing so well. Don't lose faith. You'll win"

I remember telling her I didn't love her anymore. That I didn't need her.

I start to put words to paper.

Now you were standing there right in front of me.

I hold on scared and harder to breath.

I remember when I started performing on stage. I always believed that my place was on the stage. But little by little I was losing myself, I was losing who she always believed I would be.

All of a sudden these lights are blinding me,

I never noticed how bright they would be.

I continue writing, never once thinking about the words I was jotting down.

I saw in the corner there is a photograph.

No doubt in my mind it's a picture of you.

It lies there alone one its bed of broken glass.

This bed was never made for two.

I remember the last time I saw her.

"I want you to be free, I want you to be happy. And if I can't give that to you, then by all means I hope you find it somewhere else" She gently rises and gives me a kiss on the cheek. "I will always love you Harry"

I finally release the words I was too scared and too stupid to say to her then.

Don't let me

Don't let me

Don't let me go.

Cause I'm tired of sleeping alone.

I was just so tired of sleeping alone.

–❈–

Present Day

"Mate?" I look up at Louis. "Was that song about her?" I nod. "It's beautiful Harry"

"Thanks mate"

I just wish I could've told her everything I had left unsaid. Everything I was too afraid to tell her.

Now they were just words left unsaid.

Unspoken.

Forever forgotten within my heart.

How could I ever love anyone else? It was not worth the utter fear and heartbreak. It took me so long to get back to a good place, so long.

“Harry?”

“Yeah?”

“It’s okay”

“No, it’s really not. It’s a bloody mess is what it is, mate”

Louis shakes his head and places a hand upon my shoulder “Harry, you starting over doesn’t mean you’ll forget her”

Niall nods and turns to face me “Didn’t you say Leigh forgave you?”

“Yeah”

“Then shouldn’t you forgive yourself?”

How could I though? How could I learn to forgive myself?

–❈–

I watch as Emma crawls towards me and chuckle at her giggling face "What's up baby girl?" She wraps her arms around my neck and I carry her to her room. I help her change into her pajamas and tuck her into her warm bed. She pouts as she realizes i’m not letting her sleep with me tonight, but forgives me after I read her a story. I smile as I watch her lull to sleep and kisses her forehead as I gently get up and walk towards the door. “I love you Emma" I whisper as I close her door.

Walking back to my room, hearing the rain against the window panes I heard Niall's voice saying "Then shouldn't you forgive yourself?". As I laid upon the bed I closed my eyes and wished, if only for a second that I could finally forgive myself. That I could really start over, for Emma's sake. 

But it just doesn't work that way.

–❈–

"Alright baby girl, are you ready to play with Lux today?"

"Lux!" Emma says excitedly as I carry her into the building. As soon as we go through the metal doors she tugs on me to put her down and she runs to find Lux. I smile to myself as I walk over to the lads. "Mornin"

"Mornin' mate" Liam says as he checks his ear piece.

"How goes it?" Niall says from the stage where he's tuning his guitar.

"Niall, do you think I could talk to you?" 

"Yeah, come on up." I make my way up the stairs and onto the stage where Niall has put down his guitar and stares intently at me, "What's up?"

"I just...you know what you told me yesterday?"

Niall flushes a bit, not quite comfortable with such serious conversation "Yeah."

"Do you think I deserve it?"

"What?"

"Forgiveness."

I feel his hand on my shoulder as he looks at me intently "Harry, everyone deserves forgiveness. I don't know why you think you don't"

"But, what I did was so–"

"Terrible? Horrible? Unforgiveable"

"All of the above"

"Look Harry, I know you're having a tough time with this, but you're only making it tougher on yourself."

"How do you figure?"

"How are you going to raise Emma with all this guilt in your heart?" he had a good point, "Are you only going to raise her out of guilt because her mother died?"

"No"

"Why are you going to raise her?"

"Because I love her." I say, understanding.

"Exactly, because you love her. Harry you're capable of love. I know you think you aren't but, mate, you have so much love within you. You just have to forgive yourself"

"You're right"

"No shit i'm right"

Niall gives me a quick hug and as he's letting me go we hear "Aw, how tender." we turn to see Louis with his arms crossed and a smirk upon his stubbly face. 

"Shut up." I say walking towards the stairs.

"Aw, but you're making me so jealous Harold. How dare you."

"Bug off."

"Honey come back!" Louis says running down the stairs after me.

The boys chuckle as Louis mananges to tackle me onto the ground in a hug, the rest of them joining him. And I thought, at least in that frivilous moment in time that I could do it. 

With the help of the people in my life now, I could let it go. Little by little I could leave my past behind. Focus on my life now, the boys, Emma, the tour. That everything would fall into place if I could just forgive myself.

But we all know that's not the way it works. 

 

 

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