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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30. Truth Had To Come Out Sometime

Harriet turned when the sound of Louis' car pulling up finally registered in her ears.

"About damn time." She snapped, climbing into the passenger seat. "Don't ask, just go go go go go."

And so he slammed his foot down on the gas pedal and went.

"Where are we going?"

"Just, anywhere. I don't care. I need to be away from home right now."

Louis nodded and took a couple of turns to get out of Harriet's neighborhood. It was quiet for a while, with Harriet still trying to wipe away the evidence of her crying and Louis just driving. Until he broke it.

"Why is your hair straightened?"

"Gemma dared me." Harriet blurted. That was the first excuse she'd made up for any questions, in case she ever slipped up. It was the perfect cover. In her eyes, anyway.

Again, the silence stretched until it wore thin, like a long piece of rope used over and over again for tug-of-war.

They drove in silence until they got to some lake that Harriet had never been to. Louis parked and got out. So did she. They walked down towards the little pier together, sitting side by side.

Harriet sighed deeply, taking off her shoes and letting her toes dip into the cold water. The sudden chill almost made her forget about what had just happened.

Almost.

"...so you wanna tell me what's going on?" He asked her, nudging his elbow lightly against hers.

No. Of course she didn't. She wasn't prepared to lose Louis.

But she had to tell him something.

"Yeah. My dad's really pissed at me." She sighed heavily.

"How come?"

"That's a really long story."

"And you just interrupted me from One Tree Hill so you better fucking tell me what's going on."

She allowed herself a small smile, and he smiled back.

"I figured that would work. But seriously, love. Tell me what's up." He scooted closer to her, so their thighs were touching.

"I...before I tell you that, I.....I have to tell you something else. Just....just please hear me out. Don't say anything. Just....just let me talk, okay?"

"I wasn't going to say anything. Let it out."

And so she did.

She told him about what had happened at the mall.

She told him about what had happened at her house.

She told him how Zayn had helped her.

She told him, and explained everything, that she was transgender.

And she told him about what he had done to her at the party.

When she'd finally finished, Louis only asked her one question.

"Is that why your hair was really straightened?"

And she nodded, looking away because fresh tears were in her eyes.

She let him have time to absorb it. To think it all over. It was quite a lot to handle, after all. The fact that his best mate since he was a child was actually a girl. The fact that Louis was almost a rapist.

She kicked her feet in the water slightly, watching the slow patterns of the ripples slide across and rupture the smooth, peaceful surface. She really liked this lake, she decided. It was good for her to get it all out there at such a soft, nice place.

And the lake really was pretty. Lots of trees around, the sunset's beautiful colors arching over their heads in many hues of purple, blue, red, orange and yellow. It was beautiful.

"So...you're a girl." Louis interrupted her peace. It wasn't a question.

"Yes."

"Transgender. Trans. He-she. She-male-"

"That's enough of that." She said sharply.

"....sorry. But....Harry?"

"Harriet."

"Sorry, Harriet. Can you look at me please?"

She did, and he was smiling at her, so she smiled at him and they might still be looking at each other now if some force hadn't compelled them both to scoot even closer to each other. That same force pulled Louis' hand up to rest on her cheek. He gently stroked her cheekbone, a gorgeous smile on his face.

"Well, Harriet. I want you to know that I love you."

And before she could speak he put his lips on hers.

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