Change My Mind

I don’t know if I’ll ever love someone as great as Harry so that’s why I never want to forget this feeling. That’s why I’m scared of moving on. I don’t want to forget what it feels like to be in love with Harry Styles, especially the feeling I got when Harry Styles used to love me back.

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42. Blurred Memories

Lily’s POV

I wake up with nausea and a pounding headache. I open one eye, attempting to adjust to the bright light coming from the window. I feel a weight on my chest and I look down to see Harry snuggled up into me, his head resting into the crook of my neck.

It’s weird how last night, I was the one cuddling up into him because I needed him, and now, he’s the one holding onto me tightly, like he’s afraid to let go.

Last night is a blur but I wasn’t drunk enough to forget. I remember. I remember everything. I remember blurting out every hurtful thing he’s done to me, the words coming out on its own will. I remember telling him that I still love him, and I’m still deciding whether I regret telling him that or not.

I remember asking him if he still loved me. I’ve been desperate to hear him say that he still loves me, I had to know. Whether he did or not, I had to know.

And he did. He still loves me. He said he’s never stopped loving me.

So then why does he say that he’s moved on? Why has he found himself another girl? If he never stopped loving me then why is he doing all of these things to show me otherwise?

My headache gets stronger and I have to shut my eyes tightly, hoping that it’ll help. It doesn’t.

I look back down at Harry. He looks so peaceful. There are bags under his eyes, worse than mine. I’m able to cover mine up with makeup but Harry’s is in clear view. However, right now, he looks peaceful, like it’s the first time he’s been able to get good sleep in a long time.

Just like I did.

I want to stay here and just watch him sleep and wait for him to wake up. But then I start scolding myself thinking that things are normal again.

Things between Harry and I are slightly getting better but it’s never going to be the same again, even if we decided to just be friends. I can’t have high hopes and expectations with whatever is going to happen between the two of us.

I know that we decided that we were going to talk today but without the alcohol to lock away my inhibitions, my anxiety grows at the thought of talking to Harry about last night, about right now and about the future.

I can’t. I’m still trying to wrap my head around everything that was said last night. He said he still loves me and he listed every single thing that he loves about me. And when he did, I found my heart slowly inching its way back to Harry’s.

But then I remember that he’s not mine anymore. He has someone else.

I don’t know why I asked him what he loved about me but I think it’s because I’ve started to lose hope in love. I always find myself falling in too deep and then it’s just thrown back in my face. I started to think that I was incapable of having someone love me back, that there was nothing about me that people can love. I started to think that there was nothing about me that keeps people interested, that people get bored of me and end up having to find someone else to love. That’s why I accused Harry of finding a tall, beautiful model like Ivana because I wasn’t good enough for him. I wasn’t pretty enough, I wasn’t skinny enough, I wasn’t perfect enough to make him stay.

But I found myself finding hope again. I started to feel like I was capable of having love returned to me. Harry listed things about me that I didn’t even think was a reason to be in love with someone. It was those little things that made me believe that Harry did actually love me. I always thought he did but it’s those times that he shows me otherwise that I second-guess myself.

And then I remember that we kissed. More than once. I’m disappointed in myself for kissing Harry. I was the one that initiated all but one of the kisses. I told myself that I would never kiss someone who I knew was in a relationship. I knew he was still with Ivana and I still kissed him. I’m not going to blame the alcohol because I still had a mind to know when something is wrong and reckless.

With Harry here beside me, his even breathing and steady heart beat, along with everything that’s happened since last night, I was starting to feel overwhelmed. I need air. And space. I need time to think in peace.

Slowly and carefully, I pull away from Harry. I panic when I see Harry stir but he just moves towards the couch and continues to sleep. I take the opportunity and slide away from Harry, sitting up on the side of the couch. I allow myself to look at him for a while, resisting the urge to brush his hair away from face.

I control myself and stand up from the couch and quickly look around for my things. I grab my shoes from beside the bed, holding them in my one hand as I tiptoe to the head of the bed and grab my clutch. I didn’t bring anything else so I quietly make my way to the door.

I carefully turn the knob, making sure not to make any sound. Once I open the door, I relax when I see that Harry was still fast asleep but when I opened the door all the way, a door down the hallway slammed shut and I freeze. I want to make a run for it but I can hear Harry moving around on the couch. I stay put in my spot as I look over at him. He’s confused for a while, trying to adjust to the light. He looks down at the spot on the couch beside him before I see him quickly sit up and frantically look around the room, his eyes landing on me soon after.

Panic and fear flashes across his features as he looks between me, my things in hands and the open door.

I look at him with wide eyes, feeling like a kid being caught sneaking out by their parents. I’m too scared to speak first so I wait for Harry to say something.

He runs his hand through his hair and sits properly on the couch, his eyes never leaving mine.

“Where are you going?” his voice low and raspy from sleep.

I swallow and let out a shaky breath. “I…”

I’m running away again.

I clear my throat. “I was just going to the bathroom.”

His eyebrows scrunch together slightly as he looks down at my hands.

“Why do you have your shoes with you?”

I look down at the things in my hands, knowing that I couldn’t get out of this one. I remain silent and avoid his gaze.

“You were going to leave, weren’t you?” His voice isn’t accusatory. He said it in a way that sounded like he was expecting me to leave.

By now, we both know that I always run away from my troubles. I avoid conflict because I’m always scared that I’m going to get hurt. But from what was said last night, I shouldn’t be worried about getting hurt. We’re making progress.

I always remind myself that he’s in a relationship. He’s with Ivana. But I feel like that has nothing to do with us right now. It’s irrelevant to what we’re trying to accomplish right now. We’re just trying to move past everything and have no resentment or hate between us anymore. At least, that’s what I want.

I don’t want to be mad at him or hate him anymore. It’s too much work. It doesn’t mean that I forgive him about everything but I want to get to a place where we can talk about it and work through our issues.

I want to be in a good place with Harry for the rest of my time here. I’m leaving at the end of the summer and I think it’s a waste of time and effort to continue to be mad at him and avoid him.

We can be friends.

I mean, if he wants that as well.

I look back up at him and see him rest his elbows on his knees, his back slumped over with his head hung down.

I feel so bad about even thinking about leaving after what happened last night. His painful but sweet words to me, the fact that he took care of me even though it was because of him that I started drinking in the first place, and the fact that he let me sleep in his arms. I couldn’t sleep on that bed, and the fact he was there in the same room as him, I wanted to lie down beside him.

I had felt lonely last night. I just needed to be near him. I was going to ask him to sleep on the bed beside me but I know that he wouldn’t because he would feel guilty about it.

I missed him and after those kisses, after those sweet words he spoke to me through my tears, I longed to be in him arms again. I forgot about everything, I forgot about Ivana, I only thought about Harry and being beside him. That’s why I argued against my head and followed my heart and went to lie down beside him.

When he looked at me when I placed myself in his arms, I felt like I was going to cry again. But I didn’t want to ruin the moment. The way he looked at me made me remember what it felt like to be loved again.

I had thought that he wouldn’t be okay with it but he was. He held me just like I needed him to, just like he always does, his arms tight around me, his face in my hair.

I can’t leave him. I can’t treat last night like it meant nothing. It meant something, I just didn’t know what.

I close the door and his head shoots up, his eyes wide and glistening as he glances towards the door, towards me.

His face softens and his shoulders slump as he rests his eyes on me. He watches my every move as I place my shoes and clutch on top of the dresser and make my way over to the couch, sitting down beside him.

He looks away and resumes his previous position of hanging his head down. I can see him close his eyes and I can see how stressed he is.

I open my mouth, about to say something, but close it, not knowing how to break the silence. I don’t know what I should say first. I know that I should be the one to speak first. At least, I think I do.

I clear my throat and I see him open his eyes but he doesn’t move.

“Thank you…for, um…last night,” I stutter. “For staying with me and for letting me sleep with you. I mean, sleep here on the couch…with you, not sleep with you because we didn’t do that.” I shake my head. “You know what I mean.”

He looks up at me with amusement in his eyes, as he flashes me a smile. I take a deep breath, my cheeks heating up in embarrassment.

“Yeah, I know what you mean. And you’re welcome. But…I mean, I want to thank you too. I haven’t had that much of a good sleep since…” His face falls as he looks back at me but he quickly looks away. “Since a long time.”

I nod but I know what he really wanted to say. It’s exactly what I wanted to say. Neither of us has been able to get sleep since that night he cheated on me. I remember blurting it out last night so I’m aware that he knows that we’re in the same boat.

“I…I don't know why but I seem to get the best sleep when you’re with me,” he admits. He looks at me carefully, waiting for my reaction.

My heart strains in my chest at his words. On the inside, I’m absolutely giddy but I don’t show it. I know that he doesn’t mean much about it. He’s just saying it how it is.

Don’t think too much about it, Lily.

Harry’s POV

“Look, I’m sorry if…if it complicates things between you and Ivana, I--”

“Don’t worry about it,” I interrupt her. “It doesn’t complicate things at all. Trust me.”

I emphasize the last two words and I see confusion overtake Lily’s face. I just want to blurt out the truth between Ivana and I. I want to tell her that Ivana has no effect on us. Other than the fact that I’m waiting for the day that we can finally break up and I can solely focus on Lily.

Her confusion turns to guilt before she takes a deep breath.

“I also wanted to apologize for…kissing you. I shouldn’t have done that, let alone, twice. I’m still disappointed in myself for it and…I’m sorry.”

She looks down at her hands placed in her lap, her worry growing in the wrinkles of her forehead.

“Hey,” I say.

She raises her head and looks at me with her lip in between her teeth. I give her a reassuring smile and she visibly relaxes.

“You’re forgetting who kissed the other first. I should be the one apologizing. I feel like, if I hadn’t kissed you, things would be way better after last night.”

She shakes her head. “I mean, I wish you hadn’t either but…if you hadn’t, I’m not sure we would’ve gotten to where we are now. I think…I think that we needed that kiss to finally get somewhere. I know that I would’ve been too scared to talk to you so…don’t apologize.”

So she doesn’t regret the first kiss. That just made it a million times better and I have to restrain the smile threatening to erupt on my face.

“Well, then I guess I can say that I don’t regret that kiss anymore. Lily…that kiss…” I shake my head. “It was amazing.”

I see her face fall and her body slump. “Harry,” she groans and shakes her head. “Don't. You have a girlfriend. You…you shouldn’t be saying that.”

Shit.

I completely forgot about her. I groan in my head as I look away, my cheeks heating up.

“Right,” I mutter. “Sorry.”

“Are…are you going to tell Ivana?”

Honestly, I didn’t plan on it. She doesn’t need to know and it’ll just make things more complicated if I do. I want this to stay between Lily and I, no one else.

“I…I’m not sure. I know that I should but I feel like I’d have to tell her everything that happened to explain the kiss. And…I don’t really want her to know about us.”

“Oh,” she says, hurt lacing her tone. I quickly look over at her.

“No, I didn’t mean it like that. I just meant that…there are things that happened that I want to keep between you and I. I want to keep the special moments we had between us, no one else. I don’t want Ivana to know about our story. I want to keep it special.”

She seems hesitant as she accepts my explanation with a nod. It was the truth though. No one, especially Ivana, deserves or needs to know about certain things that happened between Lily and I. Our dates. The week that we spent together, just the two of us in Ed’s apartment while he was away. When we cooked together. When she cut my hair. When she played the song that she wrote for me. And every moment in our special spot.

I cherish those moments, especially now that we’re not together anymore and that we can’t make any more moments like it.

Maybe if I do tell Ivana about the kiss, she might break up with me. On the contract, it says that Ivana is allowed to break up with me before the contract ends. I have no idea why I wasn’t allowed to break up with her. Things would be much less complicated. If I were able to break up with her, I would’ve done it a long time ago. I probably would have done it the second that I saw Lily on the red carpet at the Brit Awards.

But I can’t and now I have to wait until Ivana breaks up with me or until the contract ends and I still don’t know when that is. I decided that, when I have time, I would go to my manager and ask him about it.

However, if I do tell Ivana, she might go extra psycho and keep me on a tighter leash and I absolutely do not want that.

I think it’s best that I don’t tell her.

“Let’s just put the kisses behind us, at least for now,” she says before she clears her throat. “I was wanting to talk to you about…us. I’ve been doing some thinking and I realized that I don’t want to spend the rest of my time here avoiding you. I don’t want to stay mad at you any more. I don’t want to leave here being mad at you. I liked what he had even when we were just friends and I think that we could put everything behind us and…have that again. I know that it’s not going to be the same and that things are going to be awkward at times but I was really hoping to be on good terms with you again.”

I keep forgetting that she’s leaving at the end of the summer and I would absolutely hate it if she left with things between us being bitter. I want to spend the rest of her time here making it up to her, spending time with her, even if it’s just as a friend.

However, I still have the hope of us being together again but I know that I have to respect her wishes and work on being friends with her first.

“I would love that,” I agree.

Her body relaxes, as her eyes brighten and she smiles.

“Really?”

I nod. “Of course. I’d be crazy not to want that. I don’t want you to avoid me anymore. Like it told you, I still care about you. Even after everything that happened, I still want to spend time with you. Being friends with you is better than nothing.”

Her eyes flicker back and forth between each of mine before she nods. I saw her face falter for a second when I said that I still cared about her and I know that she’s trying to process it in any other way other than affection.

“Look,” she starts. “I know that, last night, we both established…that we still love each other and I don’t know how that’s going to affect us being friends again. I guess what we had was special and I know that it’s going to take a while for me to move on. I…I don’t know about you, I mean, you said that you still loved me but you also said that you’ve moved on so…”

She trails off as she looks down at her hands again.

The truth was, I didn’t want her to move on. But I know that she’s only thinking that she has to because she thinks that I’ve moved on myself. I don’t want her to move on because I know that once she does, I will have no chance in winning her back.

I clear my throat but she continues to look down. “Lily. You should know me by now and know that it would be impossible for me to move on. I…I just said I did because back then, I still thought you were with Marcus and I didn’t want you to know how hurt I was. I haven’t moved on, Lily.”

She looks up at me with confusion. “If you haven’t moved on, then why are you with Ivana?”

I panic, not knowing what to say. I can’t tell her that I got myself a fake girlfriend to hurt her because I had thought that she was with Marcus. She’ll see me as a pathetic low-life.

I look away. “I, um…I was hurt because I thought I lost you and…I needed to try to move on to make the pain go away.”

Lily doesn’t say anything for a while so I slowly look up at her. She’s looking at the wall beside us, looking deep in thought.

“So…you didn’t get a new girlfriend to hurt me, right? You didn’t do it to get back at me for thinking that I cheated on you?”

Yes, I did.

“No, absolutely not. I would never do that,” I lie.

She looks unconvinced as she looks back at me, searching my face for any signs of hesitation.

“I mean, at first, I was just using her as a distraction but then…” I know that I’m going to regret saying these next words. “I started to really like her and things just moved on from there.”

Lie. Lie. Lie.

She nods, her face unreadable.

“I would never get a girlfriend to intentionally hurt you.”

Why am I still talking?

She nods again and I can see her force a smile.

“Let’s not talk about that anymore,” I say quickly. She just absentmindedly nods her head, like her mind is elsewhere.

“I meant everything that I said to you last night…about what I love about you. What I still love about you.”

She starts shaking her head quickly. “No. Stop. I don’t want to talk about that right now.”

I feel my heart being pulled at the pain in her voice. I look at her worriedly, wanting to know what exactly she’s thinking and feeling.

“You’re with someone else so it’s be best if we didn’t talk about that anymore. Yes, we still love each other but talking about it is going to get us nowhere, especially now that we’re trying to be friends again. We…we should just…not talk about it anymore.”

I can see the pain flashing in her eyes, even as she avoids my gaze. She’s right though. I can’t be talking about being in love with her when I’m with Ivana. Like she said last night, I have to stop playing with her heart.

But I don’t want to play with it anymore, I just want it back.

 

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