The Pursuit of Happiness


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1. Chapter One.

 

Tessa's POV

The cold air in my apartment hit me like a snow storm, sending chills through my body. The room was dark but the sun was about to take its place in the sky. My mind was racing a mile a minute, yet my hand was frozen in time. I've been sitting like this all night. For some odd reason, I just couldn't find any inspiration to write. I don't know if its writers block or if the plot line is too vague...

 

Either way, it was time for me to get some air. I closed the lid to my laptop and slid on some gray Toms. The streets of London were empty in the early mornings, and I've come to enjoy that. I figured I would just go for a little walk around the city. Even though I've only been living in London for a month now, I haven't found the time to really explore and appreciate it here. I grabbed my phone and keys, and made my way out the door.


Don't ask me why I'm up this early in the morning, because I can't give you an answer. Ever since I left America to live here, I haven't gotten any sleep at all. And I haven't written a single word, which I'm really upset about. I honestly thought this story would be easy to write, but I can't seem to put the words onto paper.

 

I expected it to be a little warmer outside, but in reality, it was freezing. Why on Earth would I think London would be warm in November? Whatever. I didn't feel like going back to my apartment to find a jacket, which takes way too much effort. If I froze to death out here, then so be it. I don't know where I was headed, I just let myself wander.

 

It felt good.

 

 

Harry's POV

 

I woke up in a strange bed next to a girl I didn't know. Our clothes were scattered on the floor. And as I looked around the room, with my head pounding, last night’s memories came flooding back to me.

I was at the club, and this girl started dancing on me. I bought her a few drinks, we went back to her place, and I think we all know what happened after that...

 

I knew this girl would only be a one night stand. I can't even remember her name and as I lay next to her, something felt wrong. I hated the concept of a one night stand. It was just another way to objectify a woman and it felt disgusting. But I was really drunk last night and it was safe to say my judgment was beyond clouded.

I frowned and decided it was time to get out of here. I got up too quickly which only made my hangover even more prominent. My head was pounding, my throat was dry, and the sunlight made me cringe.

As I got out of bed, I found my clothes scattered around the room. My shirt and blazer were by the door, along with my shoes. My trousers and boxers were near the girl's side of the mattress.

 

Every step I took only made my head pound harder, it was horrible. I put on my shirt, and then slowly made my way over to the mattress. As I bent down to pick up my trousers, I couldn't help but stare at the stranger. She was pretty. Blonde hair, freckles, cute facial features. Not bad, Harry.

 

My clothes were quickly slipped onto my body and I was out the door in a matter of minutes. It wasn't hard to guess somebody else took my car home last night, since it wasn't in the lot and I didn't have my keys. And it was too early to call anyone to pick me up, so I was left to walk back to my flat. Even though it was still early in the morning, there was enough sunlight to hurt my eyes. My head instantly fell to the floor, searching for any form of protection from the awful sun.

 

My flat wasn't too far away; it would be about a twenty minute walk. I wrapped my blazer tightly around my body and increased my pace. The paparazzi were around here somewhere, trying to obtain more pictures to ruin my already bad reputation. I could see the headlines now...

Harry Styles: The womanizer is at it again!

Harry Styles seen leaving the flat of a mystery blonde!

Harry Styles' latest conquest!

 

The words of the press didn't bother me as much as the fans did. They would tell me how disappointed they are of me, call me disgusting, or tell me they hate me. And it hurts because they're the most important people in the world to me, and yet they're the people I hurt the most. But the worst part of it was that most of the stories written about me are complete lies. And everybody believes them because I've given them no other reason to believe otherwise. I just wish I knew how to do things without hurting anybody.

 

My mind wandered off to other things. It was too early to think about this stuff...

 

As I was walking, I heard a faint noise coming towards me. The voice rang smooth and clear. I picked my head up off the ground to see a girl walking straight towards me, holding her phone close to her ear. She was singing along to an old Ed Sheeran song. Her eyes wandered from side to side, clearly lost. There were a few other people walking down the street and cars were just starting to take their place in the road. But for some reason, this girl stuck out from every other stranger. She was only wearing a t-shirt and a pair of shorts that clung tightly to her skin. It was apparent she was cold and really unfamiliar with where she was. I didn't know if it was weird or not, but I felt this strange urge to help her. I knew nobody else would, and I didn't want her roaming around all day, especially dressed like that. If I didn't at least try to help her, some creep would find her and do God knows what... But why did I care so much...?

 

Are you alright?” I asked, getting closer to her. A few people turned to look at me, thinking I was talking to them, but my eyes were focused on her. She stopped in front of me, her bright blue eyes widened a bit. It was like she was almost shocked to see somebody stop and acknowledge her.

Yeah, uhh... I was just-”

Lost?” I cut her off. She nodded and blushed, looking down at her feet. I chuckled, pulled off my blazer, (she looked cold) and wrapped it around her shoulders. Goosebumps covered her arms and legs, but they instantly went away when my jacket hit her skin. She looked up at me.

Thanks.”

Where are you trying to go? I'll help you get there.”

My flat,” she mumbled. Her eyes refused to make contact with mine.

Where's that?”

It's on Camden High Street.”

 

I nodded simply and began walking next to her, leading her back to her flat. My eyes kept wandering to hers, every time she returned the look I felt my stomach turn to knots.

 

Tessa's POV

 

His name was Harry Styles. Curly hair, green eyes, a crooked smile, and a tall, lean silhouette. He ran into me while I was singing Firefly by Ed Sheeran. I think he knew I was lost, it seemed pretty obvious anyway.

 

I don't know why I got as nervous as I did when he talked to me. The only excuse I could come up with was that this huge celebrity saw me on the street and talked to me. It was honestly really intimidating, yet exciting at the same time. And I didn't know if it was curiosity, impulse, or pure nervousness that made me accept his invitation to walk together. Or the combination of the three... All I know is a perfect stranger walked me home along the cool streets of London. We stopped in a coffee shop about halfway through our walk, just to sit down and get warm again. We talked a lot about ourselves, learning about each other.

 

I don't know why I told him about my parents, and exactly why I moved to London, but I did. He asked me about my American accent and why I was in London. Then the words just slipped out.

My mom left when I was two and my dad never really warmed up to me. He was never home and even when he was, he never really acknowledged me. So I left.”

He looked at me with soft eyes, his expression comforting.

I'm sorry,” he said. I knew I shouldn't have told him that. I've learned enough about life to know that nobody cares, and Harry Styles is no exception. I made it seem like I was only out for his sympathy, and I'm not that kind of person.

My eyes stayed solely on my hot chocolate. I could feel the heat radiating from my cheeks as tears began to cloud my vision. This wasn't the time or place to cry again. I promised myself I wouldn't think about North Carolina anymore, that's the whole reason why I moved to London in the first place. And here I was, talking about the thing I'm trying to escape from with a perfect stranger... Harry just stayed silent. I think he knew I didn't want to talk about it anymore.

I should be getting home,” I looked up and passed him a small smile. He just nodded and got up, putting his jacket around my shoulders once more.

 

 

Harry's POV

 

I didn't talk about North Carolina with Tessa anymore. It was obvious she didn't want me to bring it up and I respected that.

 

We made small talk the rest of the way back to her flat. She would ask about my life in One Direction and about my family. I tried to stay away from personal things, so I just asked her about her time in London instead. She would tell me about her new job working at a flower shop, and her friends, Alex and Sophie. And when she ran out of things to say, she would ask me a question about Cheshire. By the end of the walk, I promised her to take her to visit my family, because I thought she would love my mom.

And she somehow found a way to laugh at all my corny jokes; she even made a few of her own. We ended up talking for over an hour about the simplest of things. Within the short time I've known her, I learned that she loved the way the leaves changed color. And that her writing knew her better than she knew herself, and that she was still trying to figure out how that could be. I would talk about how I would sometimes wake up in the middle of the night while on tour and just think about the craziest things. And what it was like to miss home and how learning to play the guitar is so damn frustrating. But she understood everything that I said which made me feel like I wasn't crazy for being myself. If there was one thing Tessa DeGennaro taught me, it was that an hour can really change how you look at things.

Well thank you for walking me home,” she smiled.

It's no problem.” I said, watching her open the door to her flat. I wished she would invite me inside so we can talk more.

I have to get to work, but I'll call you soon, alright?” She started taking my blazer off. I stopped her and repositioned it back onto her shoulders.

Keep it. I'll be waiting for that phone call,” I smiled and walked off. I had this gut feeling that something good was going to come out of this, whatever that may be.

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