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?

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64. Doll

Harry's Pov.

6 years, since Ariel left. Today was the anniversary. The lads left me alone on days like this. They let me remember, and cope. I didn't cry anymore, on those certain days. They included the 25th of September (today), the day she left. The 30th of October: the day we were supposed to get married. And August 7th: Her birthday.

Those were the specific days, sometimes I'm just randomly in a mood. But I haven't cried about it in years. That doesn't mean I'm any less sad, but crying didn't bring her back, and it made me feel like shit. So I tried to relax on these days. 6 years may seem like a long time, but it really isn't. It goes by in a wink. One Direction will soon be over, the lads are going to settle down, buy nice family homes. Have a few kids... Perrie was already pregnant, with a little boy. The first child in the 1D family.

I smiled at the thought as I pulled into the parking lot next to the little burger place that Ariel introduced me to. In a ghost town... They'd built a little department store next to it. Only a few other cars were parked in the lot. Probably employees from the two buildings. 

I went into the little restaurant, and I sat in the same chair I did, that summer day in 2013. I sat there for about an hour, staring at the ceiling, or the table, or my own hands. The man behind the counter glared at me. Then I left, jogging into the department store that shared the parking lot. It was a couple years old, not huge, but it had some good deals.

Something made me just want to take a walk inside... I strolled through the isles, not really paying attention to what cluttered the shelves. I was lost in thought once again, when a high pitched giggle, snapped me back to reality. There was a little brown haired girl, who looked to be about 5, playing with the toys from the low shelves in the isle. No parent in sight... How irresponsible.

I walked over, sitting down on the floor next to her. She looked frightened, and backed away a bit, probably thinking of getting up and running away. If she was running all over the store than no one would be watching her.

“Hello. My name's Harry. What's yours?” I asked kindly. Her tiny shoulders relaxed a bit.

“Darcy.” She answered timidly.

“That's a pretty name.” I smiled. A responding smile lit up her face, it was like turning the sun on. You couldn't help but feel joy at the sight of it.

“Thank you Harry. I think Harry is a funny name.” She giggled, sitting down again, beginning to organize her boxed toys.

“You do?” I laughed. She nodded, another adorable laugh escaping her lips.

“But you're nice.” She concluded. I sat on the ground a few feet from her.

“Why thank you Miss.” I did a little bow. She giggled again. Her dimples made her all the more innocent looking.

“Where are your mummy and daddy?” I questioned, trying to make sure she wasn't completely lost.

“I don't know where my daddy is, but mommy's in the changing room.” She replied simply, “Can you get me the doll way up there?” She asked, her miniature index finger pointed to the top shelf.

“Of course.” I agreed, standing up and getting the soft doll for her, then sitting back down. So her mother was in the store, I could just locate the changing rooms and drop her off there. Darcy sighed as she held the doll in her little arms. It was half her size! She suddenly looked... sad.

“What's the matter?” I asked.

“Mommy said that she was too much money, so we can't buy her...” She responded, hugging the doll tighter. I glanced at the price tag. 15 pounds was pretty spendy for a store as empty as this, I agree, but it would be no big deal for me to give her the money. I dug in my wallet for a 20 pound note, pulling one out and handing it to the little girl.

“Here, now you can buy it- uh, her.” I smiled, correcting myself.

“Thank you! Thank you, thank you, thank you!” She squealed, jumping up and throwing her skinny arms around my neck. I was shocked at first, then hugged her gently. It reminded me how much I wanted children. Having a daughter would be nice, I only wished...

“You are not just nice Mr. Harry, you are very, very, nice!!” She exclaimed.

“It's nice to know people think I'm very very nice.” I grinned, as a phone in her pocket began to ring. A 5 year old... With a cell phone... What has this world come to? When the girl answered, and angry sounding mother squabbled at her on the other line. I assumed she was told to stay put, and didn't. She soon hung up and looked at me.

“I have to go now. Thank you so much Mr. Harry.” She smiled, then turned and skipped down the isle, and to the right, disappearing. I spent a little time picking up the toys that she left on the ground, and then I left again. I whistled on my walk back to the burger place. That little girl put me in an automatically better mood.

I actually bought a burger this time. The man still didn't seem to like me, but I shrugged that off easily. I ate slowly, watching as the two other cars in the department store car park drove away. I smiled when I saw the little girl skip out of the store and to her car, the large doll grasped in her arm. Her mother trailed behind her. It was a ways away, so I couldn't quite see the mother. I could tell that the two had different hair colors- the mother's being slightly lighter- but that was it.

The color of the mother's hair was beautiful. If I wasn't still engaged I would have went and talked to her, maybe gotten her number. But the ring on my left hand reminded me why I didn't do that.

They drove off, the mother speeding a bit, in a hurry I presume. I finished my burger, and then left, making the long drive back to London...

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