Set Her Free

Harry Styles has known something is wrong with him for most of his life. He's wicked smart and really nice, but people don't hang out with him. He gets called 'gay' on a daily basis, although he doesn't know what that means until third grade. He gets called 'weak' when he plays sports, because he's not good at them. He spends too much time looking at the cheerleaders. But it's not because he wants them. He wants to be one of them.

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3. Changing

Unfortunately this would not be the only time poor Harry had to deal with embarrassment in front of Louis.

The second time was when he was eleven, and Louis was just turning thirteen.

It would be helpful to mention that around the time a child is still considered a child-that is, before they hit puberty- a boy or a girl could each easily appear to be the opposite sex. A boy could wear skirts and makeup and a wig, and appear to be a girl. A girl could put her hair in a cap and wear boy clothes, and appear to be a boy. It's puberty that screws things up.

Most people already know what happens to boys during puberty, and Harry was watching Louis, Liam, Niall, and Zayn experience all of these while he was left childlike. But he didn't mind.

First it was Louis' voice that had deepened. Harry had called him up to ask him to come over one sunny Saturday afternoon, wanting to go over to the park where they'd first met. It had become their special hangout. He'd waited in his bedroom, his first cell phone pressed to his ear.

When he was eleven years old, Harry's bedroom was the basement. It was his private place, where nobody was allowed. His parents and sister always left him alone when he had the door shut, and it was the best room out of the whole group of five. He had the walls covered in posters of his favorite bands. All of the colors were gender-neutral. As in, he didn't want blue since it was too boyish, and he wasn't allowed pink or purple. So he just went wild with green, silver, yellow, and all the other colors of the rainbow. But everything had to match just so. His bed was covered in leafy green. His carpet was a fine grey, and his walls were white. His desk and TV table were painted an easy-on-the-eyes yellow. His bed was on a window ledge, and his closet was straight across from it. His closet would become much more important later in his life.

"Hello?" said a voice that sounded a lot like Louis, and yet wasn't. Perplexed, Harry had thought that it was Mr. Tomlinson, and had asked to speak to Louis after he told him who it was.

"I'm speaking." said the funny voice, and Harry's eyebrows had furrowed. Whoever this was was a liar. Harry knew his best friend's voice, and this wasn't it.

"Um, no, your voice is different. I just want to talk to Louis." He had said slowly, very confused. There was a chuckle.

"No, Haz, it's me. My balls dropped so now my voice is deeper." Harry blushed wildly, as he always did when the various parts of the male lower region were mentioned. Which, between Louis and Niall, was often.

And while they were discovering the delights of their penises and the woes of having to shave their faces, Harry was in his own little world of torment.

Thanks to his older sister, he knew just about everything a girl went through during puberty.

Besides the obvious body changes and the periods, Harry had found out that girls sweat more and they get stinky, just like boys do. He'd also found out that his sister got body hair too, just not on her face. It was her face that got oily, and she had a shit ton of creams and stuff for that.

He wanted that one.

He didn't care if he had to go through period pains or the discomfort of smelling bad. He didn't care if he had to use a bunch of creams to make his face look pretty, too. He wanted what his sister had. But his body refused to allow that.

When he turned thirteen, he'd done the first girly thing he'd ever done since he turned six years old. He had made his birthday wish lots of makeup and perfume and pretty clothes and all of the surplus creams his sister had. He'd even written his mother a secret note about wanting a bra.

He had thought it was normal. He had thought that it would be perfectly okay if he was like his sister. He had thought that he could be a really pretty girl, if he tried to.

But his mother and his father had both sat down with him in the privacy of his plain old basement bedroom and had a 'talk' with him.

Boys weren't supposed to wear pretty dresses.

Boys weren't supposed to use perfume and makeup.

Boys weren't supposed to wear bras.

Boys weren't supposed to do any of the things Harry wanted.

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