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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13. 'R' Word

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were average. I texted Harry a little but we didn't communicate much. Honestly three days of barely anything made me feel relieved. Maybe this wasn't any different than anything I've done in my past. Maybe he was only texting so he could let me down gently.

He didn't have to do that, I wouldn't care if he told me he never wanted to see me again. He was just a guy. There are plenty of those to have fun with. Don't lie to yourself. You do care. You care, a lot. The back of my head insisted. I tried to ignore it. But, it still sorta scared me... Those quiet, timid thoughts that come from your subconscious, are the ones that are, in most circumstances, the truest... 

My bruises were a lot better by Friday, barely visible. The one on my face was gone while the others were green and yellow, almost healed. Brad didn't show his ugly face- always a sign of a good day- and I went to work.  In my spare time I mostly read the Twilight series over again. Don't judge, I like what I like.

On Saturday I woke up late to the sound of my phone ringing beside me.

“Hello?” I answered groggily. I hate it when people wake me up.

“Morning beautiful.” Harry's voice said on the other end. I almost smiled, but then I remembered he woke me up.

“Good morning. What's up?” I asked, rolling over.

“I was wondering if I could pick you up in, say, half an hour?” He offered. Wait. What? Why? Might as well... [A/N Hehe. Comment if you get my little directioner joke!] I don't have anything else planned.

“Sound's good, but for what?” I replied.

“Just to hang out.” He answered. Simple enough... Just two friends, hanging out.

“Okay, I'll be ready.” I agreed.

“Bye.” He said.

“Goodbye beautiful.” I copied his tone of voice from earlier. He laughed as he hung up. I jumped out of bed to get ready. I had 30 minutes, unless he was late, which I was kinda hoping for. I showered quickly, and in my rush I managed to cut a 3 inch long cut up my leg with my razor. Damn! I ignored it for the most part, wiping the blood off with a dirty towel and getting right to my hair and make up. My 30 minutes was almost up as I got dressed. I ended with one minute to spare, and that was when the soft knock came at the door. He was a minute early.Why was I not surprised? I smirked as I opened the door to let him in.

“Hello Love.” He smiled.

“Hi.” I smiled back, my stomach doing flips at the sight of him. I'm such an idiot.

“Did you miss me?” He smirked.

“Only if you missed me.” I answered. Honestly, I missed him more than I should have...

“Well, in that case you missed me enough for a kiss...” He trailed off, a beautiful crooked smile now on his face. For a few seconds I could do anything but stand there like an idiot staring at his perfection. It was like I've never actually looked at him before. His amazing green eyes, the dimples that appeared at the same time as his pretty teeth... I snapped myself out of it, and smirked back at him.

“I did, did I?” I asked, no longer sure of myself. What the hell was happening to me?! It was awful! I couldn't feel... me anymore!

“Oh yeah.” He nodded, stepping closer and leaning down to kiss me. As soon as our lips touched I swear the room could have started on fire and we wouldn't have noticed. [A/N Haha okay I'll stop now... maybe] His lips felt literally electric on mine... It was a feeling I've never had with anyone else and I liked way too much. We kissed for a while, losing track of time. Harry came to his senses first. He broke away smiling.

“Are you ready?” He asked. I nodded, not sure if I could speak, or walk... I forced my feet to move away from him so I could get my purse. He waited in the doorway for me, grinning. I locked up, fumbling with my keys. He walked behind me on the stairs, then beside me to his car.

“So where are we going?” I asked.

“Well, I thought we could go to lunch, then, I, uh... I noticed you Maroon 5 cds, and you had a lot about them on your phone, so I got tickets for their concert tonight.” He said, he peeked over at me as he drove out of the car park. So that's what he was looking at on my phone... Whoa, concert tickets... I love Maroon 5! But concert tickets are so expensive and in my opinion a waste of money.

“Are you serious?” I asked.

“Yes.” He said it like a question.

“That's awesome Harry! Thank you! How much do I owe you for the ticket?” I exclaimed excitedly.

“I sorta got us in for free...” He smiled shyly. Free...

“Geez, wow... I don't know what to say...” I trailed off.

“I'm sure that's the first time that's happened to you.” He said, smirking now.

“Not really, but the first time it did happen was after I met you.” I sighed without thinking. I froze suddenly, realizing what I just said. Why the hell did my brain let me say that?? Damn brain!

“What?” He asked. Shit.

“Um. Forget it, I didn't mean to say that.” I mumbled.

“I don't care, what do you mean?” He replied, curiosity lighting up his face. I held my hand to my forehead.

“I never got tongue tied before I met you.” I muttered quickly, barely audible. I peeked through my fingers at him. He was grinning.

“Dido.” He said finally.

“Wait, what?” I asked, taken aback.

“Before I started spending time with you I always knew exactly what to say.” He admitted. A small smile spread across my face. This is so wrong. So so so wrong. Harry was acting like a boyfriend, and I was acting like a girlfriend. But I don't have boyfriends. I have dates, maybe. Harry and I are just good friends, who kiss? Just good friends. Friends with benefits, yeah, that fits. Harry is my friend with benefits. And I'm his.

“What's wrong?” He asked now. I realized that I was no longer smiling, and was just staring out the windshield.

“Nothing, nothing.” I assured, plastering a smile on my face once again.

“Okay...” He said, unsure. We sat in silence the rest of the way to the restaurant he'd picked out, neither of us knowing quite what to say. It was a nice little Greek/Italian place. In a word, cute. Vines crawled up the walls like leafy snakes.

Harry walked in front of me up to the door, opening it for me. I smiled at him, he could be such a gentleman; at times. We sat down and ordered drinks, then food, and then all we had to do was wait.

“So...” Harry started, putting his hands together and his elbows on the table, then resting his chin on his hands, “The lads have been asking me questions lately, and I had a few interviews on Thursday... One of the questions that comes up frequently is which of us are in a relationship...” He continued. I saw where he was going but I thought I'd wait for him to finish. Also, I didn't know what my answer was going to be...

“Now on Thursday I answered that I was single, but I have another interview on Monday, and I was wondering, if that same question comes up again, what do you think I should say?” He finished, watching me intently, trying to read my every action to see what I thought.

I pursed my lips. Ariel Tanner. In a relationship... That sounded so weird, but if I said he should say he's single then he'll think I don't like him. I do like him. I like him too much. It's bad for me to like him this much. Maybe if I say he's single then we'll just end up being friends like I want... Do you really want that??

 No pressure, but my answer right now is going to set the whole tone for my future with Harry. Future with Harry. Holy shit that sounded serious. I don't like serious. The question I had to answer for myself is, is it really good for me to be jumping from guy to guy without giving any of them the chance? Is that r word really so bad? Am I going to hurt his feelings now or not?

“If it's okay with you,” I began, “I think you should answer that you are in a relationship.” A breathtaking smile spread across his face in response to my answer. The r word felt strange on my tongue.

“You're sure?” He asked.

“Hundred percent.” I smiled back. No, not hundred percent, more like twenty-four percent. But I've never been that sure before, so it must be a good thing. Right? He laughed softly, taking his bottom lip between his teeth. I had a boyfriend... Harry was the second boyfriend I'd ever had...

Our food arrived quickly after our little conversation. We ate, chatting about anything and everything. Laughing a lot. I think at one point I made the worst joke in existence, and Harry threw his head back, closing his eyes and laughing loudly. The instant he did that I decided that I wanted to see him laugh like that, carefree and happy, as much as possible. That laugh and that expression on his face, made my heart melt. When he recovered I couldn't do anything but sit there and smirk at him.

“What?” He grinned.

“You're just funny when you laugh, that's all.” I mumbled.

“That's a compliment right?” He chuckled.

“Definitely.” I nodded, unable to resist grinning back at him...

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