In Your Shadow

Not only are Taylor and Louis twins, they're also best friends.
But with Louis getting even more perfect everyday, will Taylor manage to escape his shadow?
Or will she always be known as just 'Louis' twin sister'?


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8. The Trap


It's been two weeks and I haven't said a single word to Harry. I haven't even seen him, unless the back of his curly hair counts. And it doesn't. So I've spent the first two weeks of the summer holidays basically feeling sorry for myself and watching dozens of chick flicks where a girl messes everything up but manages to get a happy ending. Because if all these girls can fix everything, then surely I can, right?

 

I've managed to fix some parts of my somewhat broken life. I've repaired my relationship with Louis, and it's as if nothing was ever wrong; I've started to earn his trust again and I really feel like that part of my life is back to normal.

 

After explaining to my parents about how I've been feeling, my mother burst into tears, and my father placed his massive hand on my head and kept it there comfortingly as my mother rocked me in her arms. I was so stupid to think that they loved me any less than Louis. My parents have always been there for me but I was too blind and stupid enough not to see it, just like everything else.

 

“What are your plans today?” Louis asks me from across the sofa.

“I might watch Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, High School Musical 2 and then I'm going to try and force dad to pick me up three happy meals from McDonalds on his way home from work.” I say as I aimlessly skip through the channels on our T.V, eventually settling on The Jeremy Kyle Show.

So you're going to do what you've been doing for the past week?” He asks, raising an eyebrow at me disapprovingly.

Yep.” I reply, bluntly.

 

He's quiet for a few seconds as we watch the couple on the show yell at each other until Jeremy has to get the bodyguard to split them up. At least my problems aren't that bad. But hey, maybe Jeremy Kyle is the solution to all of this. I'm sure he'd be able to fix all my relationships, what with all his experience at dealing with that kind of stuff.

 

Well, I'll leave you to your exciting activities,” Louis says, getting up from the sofa and moving towards the curtains to let some light into the darkened room.

No, leave them closed,” I say without my eyes leaving the television. “I like the darkness.”

 

Louis mutters an 'okay', sighs and then leaves me alone in the room with nothing but my endless thoughts as company.

 

~*~

 

Around halfway though High School Musical 2, I'm vaguely aware of the front door opening and loud voices talking in the hallway. But Troy is singing Bet On It, and that's my jam, so I ignore the people in the hallway and try and block out their annoying chatter. As they start to talk even louder, which I didn't even know was possible because they were practically shouting before and I even had to turn the volume on my T.V up to forty, I've had enough and decide that I need to put them in their place. You know, this is my house and the group in the hallway are guests, so.

 

I swing the door open and begin my rant.

 

If you could all shut the hell up for a short period of time, because Troy Bolton is singing Bet On It, and I would very much like to hear what he is singing and not your annoying voices. Thank you.” I snap with one finger held in the air (because I think that it emphasises my point more), and my eyes closed and my eyebrows furrowed.

 

My rant seems to have done the trick though, because they've all shut up, so I open my eyes.

 

And holy fudgesticks, I really regret closing my eyes, and raising my finger, and watching HSM2, and existing. Because stood right in front of me are Louis' four best friends. Yep, all of them. Harry. Niall. Zayn. Liam. Fantastic.

 

Couldn't Louis have mentioned this earlier? You know, when he was asking me about my plans for today? But somehow he managed to innocently forget to mention that he was inviting his friends round, one of which is the person I've been avoiding and craving all at the same time.

 

Taylor,” Niall smirks as a way of greeting me.

Niall,” I reply sheepishly, as I desperately seek out Harry's eyes. But it seems that they are looking everywhere but at me. “I should erm get back to my film- sorry for um disturbing you. Please continue.”

 

I back away into the lounge, closing the door behind me before letting out the breath I had been holding. I collapse back onto the sofa but can no longer concentrate on Troy Bolton, and instead can only replay the short encounter again and again.

 

I hate seeing Harry so distant, so cold. And I hate it even more knowing that it's all because of me. If I'd stopped thinking about myself for a few moments maybe I would have realised that everything was my own fault, and not Harry's. Maybe I would have stopped myself before I unleashed all of those terrible things onto Harry or better yet, not thought of them at all.

 

Tay?” Lou asks when he enters the room, his group of friends now relocated in his bedroom after my short outburst.

I'm sorry about before,” I say, knowing what Louis was going to say. Something along the lines of 'why are my friends scared to talk in case they interrupt Troy Bolton?' “I shouldn't have said anything to them.”

What? I was just coming to ask if you if you could help me carry some drinks and snacks from the garage up to our bedroom... Why? What happened before?”

Nothing! Sure I'll help,” I don't really want to – and I'm sure Louis can get one of his friends to help – but I'll do anything instead of having to spill about my embarrassing encounter with his friends.

 

I heave myself up from the sofa where I had collapsed in my own embarrassment, and go into the garage as Louis requested. I go to turn on the light but Louis shoves a torch into my hand before I can flick the switch.

 

The bulbs gone,” Louis says in a form of explanation. “Could you just go get the snacks right at the back, near our old bikes and that creepy dolls house?”

Sure,” I reply with a sigh because I'm really not in the mood for carry things, even if they are just snacks. My plan for the day was watching films and eating, and not moving and climbing stairs.

You'll thank me for this later,” Louis says hurriedly.

 

I only have time to turn around and open my mouth to begin to say 'what?' before Louis has slammed the door shut and, by the sounds of it, locked it.

 

Louis!” I shout as I bang my fists on the hard door. “Open this door right now! I'm not kidding, Lou!”

 

He knows I hate the garage; it gives me the creeps, what with all the broken dolls and the cobwebs and the spiders and the-

 

A pair of hands grabs my bum, causing me to let out a scream as I fumble with the torch to see whoever just sexually harassed me in my own garage.

 

Take your dirty hands off my bum!” I hiss, giving the figure a firm push with my hands.

T-Taylor? Your bum? I- No! I didn't touch your bum... did I?” The stranger stumbles on his words, clearly embarrassed. But he is no longer a stranger because I would recognise that voice in a heartbeat.

 

I reach for the light switch, now assuming that Louis only told me the bulb was gone so that I didn't discover who he was locking me in the garage with so I couldn't make a run for it, and turn it on, revealing a blushing Harry.

 

I stand there speechless, desperately wanting to pour my heart out but knowing that it won't be best for either of us; Harry won't want to hear it, and I don't want to cry in front of him. Harry settles down on a blanket, which I guess he was sat on before I arrived, and looks away, his face void of any emotion.

 

Have you been here long?” I ask, taking a seat opposite Harry but with as much distance between us as I can without sitting on any of the old toys that clutter our garage.

Ever since you had that weird outburst about High School Musical,” He says but his voice is distant, as if he doesn't want to talk. Well, not to me anyway.

High School Musical 2,” I correct him in a whisper, earning a pointed/confused look from Harry. “It was a weird outburst about High School Musical 2.”

 

Harry rolls his eyes before closing them, obviously trying to block me out. I give up any attempt at making conversation, because it clearly isn't going to end well, and instead scan my surroundings.

 

I haven't been in here for around two years- a year and a half at the least. I always get Louis to get me stuff from here because I'm too scared to come in. The last time I probably went in here was mine and Louis's 16th birthday party...And then the memory hits me so hard I feel like the air is forced out of my lungs, causing me to let out a gasp. I cover it up with a cough, so Harry doesn't pick up on my reaction, because I really don't want him to remember it too.

 

You've just remembered, haven't you?” He says, his eyes remaining closed.

Harry... I-”

Leave it. I don't want you to laugh at me again.” He says casually, no hint of anger in his voice. Just emptiness.

 

2 years ago

 

It was mine and Louis's 16th birthday party. Or more like Louis's 16th birthday party because it was only his friends that were round. We'd spent the whole morning decorating the garage with both Christmas decorations and birthday festivities – as our birthday falls on Christmas Eve – and that's where the small party gathered. Harry, Liam, Louis, Niall, Zayn and I all sat in a circle on the carpeted floor, playing a game of Truth or Dare.

 

Okay Harry, it's your turn,” Louis spoke, silencing the separate conversations that had erupted. “Who do you have a crush on?”

Seriously Lou?” Harry asked, rolling his eyes. “We're not ten years old.”

Someone's trying to avoid the question...” Niall teased, causing me to giggle quietly into my hand.

 

He'd been causing that reaction from me all night. Everything he said or did had me in fits of giggles or blushing until my whole face was as red as a tomato. It didn't help that he kept subtly winking or grinning at me, causing my cheeks to flame up even more.

 

Fine, fine! I like...” His voice trailed off. But when he finally answered, his answer was inaudible due to the sound of my loud laughter.

 

I couldn't help it; Niall knew exactly how to get me crying tears of laughter. I just had bad timing, that's all.

 

Wait, wait, wait. Say it again, we couldn't hear over Taylor cackling.” Louis said.

Hey!” I complained, slapping Louis on the head playfully.

No, I said it. I answered the question. Now let's move on. I didn't want to play this stupid game anyway.” Harry said, avoiding everyone's gaze.

 

Louis clearly understood something I didn't so he moved the game on without another question asked. Harry remained quiet for the rest of the party, and his silence was filled by my constant outbursts of uncontrollable laughter as Niall stole my attention for the whole night.

 

“You said my name, didn't you?” I say quietly. “When Lou asked you who you liked...y-you said me. But I didn't listen.”

“You laughed, if I remember correctly,” Harry eventually replies.

“I wasn't laughing at you,” I say quickly, practically blurting it out. “I was laughing at something- at something Niall said...” I trail off in a whisper.

 

Guilt floods my whole body, as I watch Harry's emerald eyes. I didn't even know it was possible to feel more guilty than I already did. But it was. Because now I feel my heart breaking all over again; I feel so much regret and so much anger at myself for being so blind and stupid and heartless.

 

“Harry-” My voice catches in my throat. “I'm so sorry.” I finally choke out. But Harry just avoids my gaze with a small shrug and re-closes his eyes.

 

Maybe this time, I've really lost him.

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