Always and Never

Ariel Tanner believed that love was nothing but an illusion, a sick prank your brain pulls on you. But when she meets Harry Styles she begins to question everything she has put together about love. This frustrating boy was the only truly genuine person she'd ever met. How someone like him could even exist blew her mind. Harry, on the other hand, was amazed at how closed off Ariel acted. He made it his mission to knock down the walls she'd built around herself, because behind the flirting and the sarcasm, he got a glimpse of a girl that he wanted to become as close as humanly possible to. But did he really want to know everything behind those walls?


40. Age 14

I wandered up to Harry's room, locating the small bin of things that I'd brought over yesterday but never got to unpack. I sighed happily, pulling out a book, 'The Shining' by Stephen King. It was the inspiration for the movie that Harry and I went to last night, but ended up falling asleep at.

“Red rum.” I mumbled under my breath, then grinned at my own joke. I shuffled out to the big deck, and made myself comfortable on one of the couch-swings. I re-read the book as I soaked up sunlight. Harry was gone more than he said, finally showing up about 45 minutes later. I dog-eared the page I was on and closed the book, looking up at him as he stood before me.

“Sorry, that took a bit longer than I'd expected.” He apologized.

“No biggie, I was enjoying myself.” I grinned.

“I can see that, you'll have to abandon your book and come with me now though.” He grinned back. I nodded and followed him back into the house. I put my book down on the bed in his room, then met him in the entry way downstairs. We walked side by side out to the van, our shoulders bumping frequently.

It wasn't very big, but it had the name of some moving company on the side, so I guess it did make it seem more official. It was a good idea, I liked it. Harry drove us, as usual, to my apartment. When we got there he pulled open the back door and handed me a couple boxes from inside. He then took a few for himself.

We walked quickly up the stairs, both of us looking forward to packing up my apartment for good. It was great fun, taking a trip down memory lane. Harry sure seemed to enjoy going through my things...

“This folder has all your old report cards in it.” He chuckled, looking through them from where he sat on my floor. He'd been going through my night stand. I filled up the last of the space in my second box with clothes. I pushed that one aside and grabbed a third, getting the little trinkets out of my closet and the pictures off my walls.

“A, A-, B+, A, A, A?” He listed off, amused. He held one of the grade sheets up to show me.

“I said that I stopped acting like a nerd, I never said I stopped being one.” I laughed. Harry chuckled again as he continued to file through my things. The paper he held up was the report card from my eighth year of school. That year was truly interesting...

Ariel Flashback.

I could remember when the sight of my mother sad or mad made me upset. I also remembered when I thought of her as a loving person. She wasn't. She began hating me years ago, right after dad died. He must have been the only thing keeping her sane.

I'm 14 now, it's been 3 years since my dad died. My eighth year of school. Fun right? No. Not at all. Don't get me wrong I still do pretty well in school, good grades, homework done, that kind of shit.

Maybe I won't get a hundred percent on a math paper because a bottle of beer was involved but hey, I wasn't not dumb. Not even when I'm intoxicated. It took very little effort for me to keep my grades up, and I was eternally grateful for that. But you gotta fail a test every once and a while to piss mum off, don't ya?

I had my scene all planned out. No one in the school knew I got good grades. I'm sure they all assumed I'm that girl who smokes, drinks, doesn't wear enough fabric, and gets straight F's. Which, I guess, is partly true. I drink and I dress in pretty iffy outfits, but I don't smoke... And it was already established that I get good grades. I wouldn't want them to change their image of me, so obviously, I had to make a scene. And honestly, it was probably going to be fun.

I was in the middle of a geography test, on every question I circled A, B, C, and D. Again, just having a little fun. And the clock strikes 10:30. The exact time that my mothers 'very important meeting' started. Wouldn't it be a shame if she got called to the school to speak with the principle about her poorly behaved daughter? I waited two more minutes, just to make sure she was into her meeting when she was summoned. Now. I thought, mentally grinning.

“This test is shit!” I exclaimed, jumping out of my seat. All eyes were on me, and I loved it. This was going to be entertaining for all of us, don't think it was just for me. Everybody hated the geography teacher, Ms. Thatcher. She was a complete bitch, and she was going to be pissed as hell at my little scene. It was going to be hard for me not to laugh.

“What did you just say Ms. Tanner?” She exclaimed, her eyes were wide, appalled at my language.

“Oh, I'm sorry. Did I not say it loud enough for your prehistoric ears?” I sneered. Ms. Thatcher was in her forties, and she got very, very upset at the mention of her age. She gave a boy detention once for wishing her a happy birthday. Her eyes flashed with fury, I heard a few muffled snickers come from around me.

“Go to the office! Now!” She ordered. I crossed my arms over my chest, my lips pursed as I pretended to think about it.

“No, I don't think I will.” I shook my head. She shot up from her chair, stalking over to me.

“I am your teacher and you will listen to me! Go to the office now.” She shouted. I swallowed laughter, allowing a smirk to appear on my face.

“I think to be classified as a teacher, you have to get up off your fat-ass and actually teach us something.” I mused. More muffled snickers.

“How dare you speak to me like that!” She bellowed.

How dare you speak to me like that!” I mimicked, my voice shooting up a few octaves. I crossed my eyes and placed one hand on my hip, shaking a finger at her.

“You're being incredibly childish! Go to the office now!” She exclaimed. She looked like she was about to explode. Good.

“I just really don't feel like doing that.” I disagreed.

“Too bad! You're going to the office and so is your mother!” She shouted at me again. And now, I allowed myself to grin.

“Ah, I'll only go down if you promise ol' mummy can stop by!” I said in a painfully fake cheerful voice.

“Oh I can definitely promise a visit from Mrs. Tanner.” She huffed. My grin widened.

“Pinky swear?” I asked, holding my pinky out to her. She didn't move. I shrugged.

“Good enough for me.” I said, then began to walk toward the door, my test in my hand. I whirled around and walked backwards as I finished with my final statement.

“Have fun, my poor peers, taking Ms. Bitchy-pants' shitty test.” My test was ripped in two, and thrown in the trash next to the door, and then I was out. Free to mosey the hallways for a few minutes before I planned to go wait for mummy...

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