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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33. Sweetie

“Don't you dare 'sweetie' me.” I glared at her. Her being the woman who single-handedly ruined me. 

“I come to visit you and I don't even get a smile?” She questioned. She was lucky I wasn't gone already.

“Nope.” I answered, popping the 'p' sound. I heard Harry cuss- almost silently under his breath.

“Fine then, don't acknowledge my love.” She sniffed, her head traveled slightly from side to side. Disapproval. This bitch had a lot of nerve.

“Love?” I snickered. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Harry's face change to his 'oh shit' expression. It suited the situation. My mother suddenly looked furious.

“Yes, you're my daughter and I love you.” She said like it was an order. Ha, the same tone she used to use when forcing religion on me.

“When you say shit like that you aren't trying to convince me. You're trying to convince you.” I responded.

“How could you ever doubt that I loved you??” She demanded. Did she want me to count the fucking reasons?! Cause it was a pretty long list! 

“How?! Maybe because you treated me like I was a piece of shit.” I spat, “Or maybe because you were so ashamed of me that you introduced Shelby as your daughter!!” My words morphed into an enraged shout. Now she'd done it, now I was pissed.

She was about to reply but I continued, “You think I'm one big sin! You think that since I'm not perfect I don't deserve to breath the same air as you! You told me that I'd burn for eternity in hell! While you sat up next to the Lord and watched me, with that same disappointed look in your eyes!!” I screeched. My breath came in hard, fast gasps.

“I think no such thing! I'm not like that anymore! I've decided that everybody makes mistakes, and that the Lord forgives. I know he's forgiven you!” She exclaimed, standing up off the couch.

“Wow that makes me feel so much better! You've just recently decided that I might, be an okay person. A person who may, or may not, be damned.” I retorted.

“I've always known you were a good person! I-” She started, I cut her off.

Don't lie!! You're disgusted with me! I broke the rules, sometimes the law. You loathed me, for being myself!” I yelled.

“I just didn't know how to help you! I had no idea what to do! Your father would have known but I didn't!” She shouted back.

“You're right! Dad would have known not to fuck up his daughter!” I growled.

“How dare you speak to me like that! Harry, would you talk to your mother like that.” She demanded. 

How. Dare. She. 

My glare was ice cold. I met Harry's eyes for a split second, he knew better than to respond to her question. My gaze moved slowly back to rest on my mother. I took a single furious step forward, and for a moment there was fear in mother's eyes. Good.

“You treated me like I was the spawn of Satan. I'll talk to you however the fuck I want." I said, starting off quiet, but my voice only got louder and louder, "You can come in here, on my damn birthday, and shout at me. But don't you fucking dare bring Harry into this!!” I screamed, my voice climbing to the loudest pitch of the night. If she wanted a daughter that spoke like a lady she should have stuck with Shelby (my cousin, for those who don't remember that story).

“Ariel, maybe we should take a walk for a minute. Get some air, then come back.” Harry whispered gently in my ear, stroking my arm in an attempt to sooth me. I immediately moved away from him, not wanting to be touched.

“You invited her here, I'm not going to lie about how she was to me.” I snapped. I felt a pang of regret at his hurt expression. I shoved the guilt away. He invited my mother here, after I'd told him how bad she hurt me.

No matter how I dealt with things back then, I'm better now. I've had a lot of time to think, and I've decided I need to do better.” Mother said, quieter, but still not her 'inside voice'. My blood boiled in my veins, and I'd bet that there was legit steam coming from my ears.

A dark chuckle escaped my lips, though humor was completely absent from my world at the moment. Harry and my mother both looked scared now, maybe scared for my sanity- but I couldn't care less.

She'd crossed the line way too many times in only a few minutes, nothing I said was going to sway her. Never was she going to admit that she fucked up.

And that is where my laugh came from, her utter ignorance.

“'No matter'.” I whispered, nodding as I stared blankly at the wall. Harry began to say my name, in warning, but that's when my eyes snapped to my mother's face and the explosion came again. Like a volcano- or maybe an earthquake would be a better comparison. My anger came in intense waves, trying to crumble everything around me.

No matter?! Are you deaf?! Are you blind?! Do you see how I turned out?? Who am I kidding, you were always right, I am a bad person, and I very well may be damned to hell. But as my fucking mother, the least you could have done was try to help me without hating me! I was just a kid! I lost my god damn virginity at 15! I was so desperate to feel loved, that I turned out a fucking slut! Whose fault is that?? It's definitely not mine! Who fucking made me do this?!?!” I bellowed, holding my arm up so that she saw the thin, white, ragged scars. I heard Harry's breathing stop for a few seconds at the sight. My voice was quiet again.

“These are from a broken beer bottle, in my room a few years ago. After a while I decided that cutting my arm wasn't going to get my mother to tolerate me again, so I quit. I haven't used the scar fading shit that I bought, because they remind me.... They remind me why I don't go crying home to you when I've had a bad day. Because you wouldn't care.” I spat, my finger traced the longest scar. I hoped that hurt her. No mercy, and no pity. She deserved just about as much sympathy from me as Hitler did from the Jews.

My mother stood there, suddenly looking broken instead of angry. It should hurt me to see her in pain, but it didn't. I still had a whole lot I could say to her, that would make her pain a thousand times worse. I sucked in a breath to begin letting all of it out, but movement caught my eye and distracted me. Harry took a small step toward me, but he stopped when I flinched away.

“Ariel I didn't know...” She trailed off.

“Of course you didn't. You didn't like to look at me.” I shrugged. I realized how sad that must sound to Harry. There was no sorrow in my thoughts, only outrage.

“I thought you hated me. I thought that there was nothing I could do to get through to you...” She muttered. Get through to me? What was wrong with this woman?! I did hate her, I do hate her...

“Good parents don't give up on their children. Especially their only one.” I replied, deciding I'd had enough. Before my mother could speak again I turned to Harry.

“Before I get more angry with you, tell me one thing: Why did you call her?” I demanded, trying my hardest to control my tone for him. I didn't want to hurt him like I hurt my mother.

“You said that you wished you had the same relationship with your mum as I had with mine, and I got to thinking...” He trailed off.

“Even after I told you everything that I've never told anybody else?” I raised my eyebrows at him, disbelieving.

“Well... Erm... Yeah, I- I did. I thought it would be a good thing...” He answered. I could give him a piece of my mind, I could recite all the choice words rushing through my thoughts. And I hesitated for a moment, considering telling him what a dick move this was... My head shook, better not, but I did have one thing to say. The thing that hurt me the most.

“This is betrayal.” I whispered, my voice faltering slightly. For a second I watched his face grow sadder, but I couldn't stand to see him hurt, so I jogged to the entry way before anyone could speak. The keys to Harry's car were immediately in my hand.

I ran out the door and was in his car and on the way to my apartment before you could say 'Mum'. He had another car, it wasn't like I was leaving him stranded. I watched as he ran out to the end of his driveway after me, waving his arms and shouting, but then giving up.

I parked outside my apartment, walking sluggishly up the stairs and into my room. I locked all the locks, so that even with the spare key Harry wouldn't be able to get in if he decided to pay a visit. I made a bee line for the fridge where a pack of beer was calling my name. It was like I somehow knew what was going to happen...

“Happy birthday to me.” I chuckled darkly, lifting the bottle to my lips and pouring the magical-brown-liquid-that-would-make-me-forget into my waiting mouth. I suddenly felt relief wash over me. Soon, I won't be able to remember why I was sad. Maybe if I had enough I wouldn't have to remember in the morning either...

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