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?


60. Gone

Harry's Pov.

The interview went well. I never got tired of doing those, no matter how often questions repeated. It was always a thrill. And every one reminded me of how lucky I was...

I tried calling Ariel before I left the studio to let her know that I was on my way home but she didn't answer. I couldn't say I was too concerned about that, she was probably just lost in a good book or something. With her ringer turned off. I pulled into the empty drive (Ariel kept her car in the garage) and whistled as I walked up to the door. I unlocked all the locks, and burst in.

“Honey! I'm home!” I called, then chuckled. That wasn't the first time I'd used that joke, and it wouldn't be the last. I loved coming home to someone, to someone who I was in love with. To my fiance. That word sent tingles down my spine. I still hadn't told my family that we were engaged, I was trying to think of the best way to do it. I wouldn't include that it wasn't quite as organized as I'd planned.

I'd been planning to propose a few days after the day I did, but what else was I going to do when she thought I was cheating on her?? I had the hot air balloon ready to take out again. And I was going to propose mid air, as we floated over England. But honestly, it was just as magical the way it happened.

Despite the fact that I knew she loved me, I was so worried that she'd say no. She seems like the type who would say no out of fear. She was afraid of love, why wouldn't she be afraid of marriage? But she said yes! And now we were going to get married and live a wonderful, happy life together. We'd watch each others hair grow grey, and maybe, when 1D is long gone, maybe I'll be able to talk her into having a couple children.

“Ariel?” I called again when she wasn't in the living room. I checked quickly. Nope, not in the kitchen. I climbed the stairs, whistling again, and went to check our room. Not in the bedroom. Not in the bath... I was about to go check the painting room when a small blue box sitting on my pillow caught my eye. Like the one her engagement ring came in....

I opened it quickly, huffing a sigh of relief when it wasn't her ring. It was a ring I'd never seen before. I realized with a smile. It was my ring! She'd gone out and bought my ring already! I slipped it on my left hand, planning to put it back later so that she could keep it for the wedding. It looked quite nice on me. And it fit perfectly. I jogged down the stairs again, and checked the extra bathroom and the painting room. Both were empty... I was beginning to worry, when I realized: The deck! She loved the deck!

I took the stairs again, two at a time, and went out onto the deck. Empty. Something in me, told me to check the bedroom again. I obeyed, looking around. The corner of a piece of clothing stuck out the top of a sloppily closed drawer. That wasn't like that this morning... I opened the drawer, and then the next, and then the next. Half of Ariel's clothes were gone.

I felt the sweat break out on my skin. This gave me a bad feeling. As I hurried out of the room something again caught my eye. Her snow-globe was gone. Okay, I was officially panicking. I ran through the house and out to the garage. Her car was gone. Her fucking car. Maybe she was out shopping... With half of the clothes that she owns??

My phone was immediately in my hand and dialing her number. No answer. I tried twice more. Nothing. Next I called Louis, he'd know what was going on. I was probably just over reacting... He answered.

“Louis, I can't find Ariel. She left my ring on the bed and her car and half her clothes are gone. Holy shit Lou, I don't know what's going on!”

“She's probably just out shopping or something.” He tried to reassure me. He didn't sound so certain himself. In fact, he sounded worried.

“With clothes?!?! And the snow-globe that I gave her?!” I exclaimed.

“Just calm down Harry! Think of where she might be.” He ordered. I thought and thought. Her mom's? Kate's? Maybe she picked up an extra shift at work? She could always be at that little burger place she showed me, I did get home early...

“Okay, okay. I'm gonna pick you up at your house, and we'll look for her.” I said, then hung up. Not waiting for a reply. She'd probably laugh when we find her and she finds out that I reacted this way. I can hear her teasing me now... Silly boy. I was only out running errands, I love you. I would never leave. No need to worry.

I started my car, the tires squealing as I pulled out of the driveway. I sped to Lou's, trying to call different people along the way. I called Kate a few times. She didn't pick up. I called Ms. Tanner too, but she didn't pick up either. And I obviously called Ariel. Eventually the calls ended up going straight to voice mail, that meant she turned her phone off. Holy shit she turned her phone off. She knows I'm calling and she's not picking up.

I called Liam, and Zayn, and then Niall, explaining to each what was going on. They promised to keep a look out, and we were all going to meet up at my place in an hour or so. I picked up Louis, and tried Ariel from his phone, straight to voice mail.

“Maybe her phone died.” He suggested quietly. Yeah, yeah. That's what happened. She surely wasn't ignoring me. She wouldn't. We're going to get married, on the 30th of October, and then take a honeymoon to Australia. Just like we planned. I only nodded in response to his words, concentrating on not passing any police while I was breaking the speed limit by 25 kilometers per hour.

First we went to her work, she wasn't there, and the next closest place was Kate's.

I knocked on the apartment door, Louis behind me. I rocked back and forth on my feet as I waited. She opened the door pretty quickly after I knocked. Her face showed panic for less than a second before she regained her prepared facade.

“Hi Harry.” She greeted, with a strained smile.

“Hey Kate, have you seen Ariel today?” I questioned.

“No? Isn't she at home?” She asked, a confused look now painted on her face. It was fake.

"She's not and I'm getting pretty worried. She won't answer her phone..." I responded.

"I haven't talked to her today, sorry Harry." She lied. I grasped her shoulders.

“I know you're lying. Where. is. Ariel.” I whispered, my eyes bored into hers.

“I-I don't kn-” She began, nervous now.

Where the hell is my fiance?” I exclaimed. I was seeing red. Suddenly, I felt my ass hit the ground, my head snapped back and hit the wall. Louis did that. Kate stood, rigidly in the doorway. Lou stepped between her and I.

“What the fuck Lewis?!?!” I groaned, rubbing my head. He didn't like it when I called him 'Lewis'. Anger flashed in his eyes, but he pushed it away.

“You're losing it Harry. You need to calm down.” He commanded. I realized with horror, that I could have hurt Kate just then.

A strangled groan left my lips. Icy claws of sadness and despair crawled up my body. Unwelcome tears dripped down to my lap before I could catch them.

“I'm so sorry Kate... Ugh, I don't understand, why would she just up and disappear??” I cried, beginning to sob into my hands. I threw all my dignity out the window then, and I didn't even care.

“You were a great help.” I heard Louis growl.

“I-I'm sorry. I just don't know...” Kate lied again, then the door shut.

“Come on, we're going home.” Louis muttered, grabbing my wrist and pulling me up. I threw myself at the door, speaking into it. I knew Kate could hear me.

“Please. Kate, I love her. I know she talked to you. I can't live without her. Kate, ask her for me, ask her what I did wrong. I can fix anything, I'll change anything. Please just tell me where she's gone.” I begged. There was no response. Louis towed me down the stairs and to the car. And then he drove me home, where Zayn, Liam, and Niall were waiting.

I ignored the people in the living room, slowly trudging up to our bedroom and locking the door. I sat on the bed, looking around our room. We had a lot of pictures of us together in frames, and a lot more filling up a drawer downstairs. We didn't take most of them. There were a lot of good ones from magazines and online. I'd printed out many that I liked. I sluggishly made my way up to my favorite one, as a knock sounded at my door.

“Ariel?” I questioned, my heart beating faster. Hope pooled in my stomach.

“No, it's Louis and Liam. Open up, we have to talk about this.” Liam answered. The wave of depression came again. I held my favorite picture, in it's wooden frame, delicately in my hands. It was Ariel and I, walking hand in hand out of a restaurant that we went to once. We were both laughing. I stared at the picture for a few more seconds.

The sound of it shattering against the wall hurt my ears. My muscles were not under my control. My brain blanked out. By the time I could think again, I woke to a completely destroyed room and a door with broken hinges. All four boys were around me, Louis restraining my wrists behind my back. Liam, Zayn and Niall looked... scared. Louis let me go when my breathing began to slow down. I dragged my hand roughly across my face, wiping away the water.

“God dammit!” I screamed at the tears.

“Sit down Harry.” Niall whispered.

“Don't talk to me like I'm crazy!” I cried, falling onto my ruined bed. It had things cluttered on it, and the blankets and pillows were scattered about the room.

“You need to get a grip.” Zayn said sternly.

“How could she just run away? We were going to get married.” I mumbled, rubbing my forehead with my right hand. My head was throbbing.

“You need to let her go Harry. If she was a good person she wouldn't have left after letting you fall in love with her.” Liam began. Before I could say something back to that outrageous comment, Louis added his own opinion.

“What a bitch.” He snarled. I stood up and my fist came a millimeter away from connecting with his face. He jumped backwards, dodging my punch.

“Don't talk about her like that!” I shouted.

“Jesus Christ Harry! Calm the fuck down!” Louis exclaimed.

“If she really did l-leave,” Saying that caused pain to explode in my heart and spread throughout my veins, infecting my entire body, “then she had a good reason. She loved me. You can't fake that! I'm not going to be mad at her and none of you are either!” My voice rose in volume until I was shouting again.

I vowed, in that moment, that I would find Ariel someday. And if not marry her, I'd ask why she left. I didn't care when that day was. Because I would never love anyone else as much as I loved her.

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