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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47. Pieces

Lily’s POV

“Black or white?”

I look over at Eleanor as she holds out two of the same shirt in front of her, each of them a different colour.

I look between both shirts, determining which one would look best on her.

I point towards the black one. “That one.”

She smiles and puts the white one back on the rack. “Good. I like this one, too.”

I turn back to the rows of clothes in front of me, trying to find a new dress for future parties. I’m scanning through the different styles as two people staring at me catch my eye. I look up and see Harry and Louis quickly look away once I catch them staring at me. My eyebrows scrunch in confusion as they suddenly find interest in the shoes in front of them on the table.

Usually I wouldn’t think it was weird but then I look down at the shoes and see that they’re rows of stiletto pumps.

“Hey, do you know what’s up with them? They’ve been acting weird since we got here,” I ask Eleanor, not taking my eyes off of the two boys.

“I don’t know. But honestly, they’re always acting weird so I don’t even bother anymore.”

I laugh, trying to make myself believe her. Ever since this morning, especially once we left Louis and Eleanor’s place, Harry’s been acting weird. He was unusually quiet on the car ride here and now that he’s with Louis, I’ve been seeing them whispering to each other and glancing my way occasionally.

Maybe he’s telling him about me leaving near the end of August. But why would he need to be so secretive about it and why is he acting different around me?

Before I can contemplate other possibilities, Eleanor grabs my hand and pulls me after her. “Let’s go try on stuff.”

I follow her to the change rooms and wait for an employee to give us each of our own rooms beside each other to change. I decide to try on the pair of shorts and crop top first, stepping outside to look at the outfit in the floor length mirror.

I jump slightly when I see Harry sitting on the couch behind me.

“Harry. You scared me.”

He smiles at me through the reflection before I catch him subtly raking his eyes down and back up by body. I would usually feel uncomfortable with it but, with Harry, it’s not. I’m comfortable. It’s like I’ve become used to him looking at me.

“That looks ho--…great. That, um, that looks great on you.”

A blush appears on his cheeks at his near slip-up but I smile at him, assuring him that I didn’t mind at all. If anything, I wish he had said what he originally wanted to say.

“Thanks. Where’s Louis?”

He nods his head towards the door on the other side of Eleanor’s dressing room. “He’s trying on stuff.”

I nod. “You’re not buying anything?” I turn my body to the side to look at the outfit from the back.

He shakes his head. “No. I went shopping a few days ago with--”

My eyes quickly look away as he shuts his mouth. I know who he went with. I saw the pictures on TV when I was watching with Ed. I had quickly excused myself to the bathroom even though Ed had changed the channel.

I clear my throat after a few seconds of awkward silence. I make my way back to my dressing room.

“Um. I’ll be right back.”

I don’t risk looking up at him so I quickly dart into my dressing room, shutting the curtain behind me. I take a deep breath, allowing myself to calm down enough to change into my next outfit.

I thought that it would start getting easier to accept that Harry has moved on but it hasn’t. I still feel a pang of pain shoot through me at any mention of Harry and Ivana.

It will get easier.

It has to.

I hold up one of the summer dresses I chose and start putting it on. I reach behind my back, struggling to get the zipper all the way up. My arm can’t extend enough and once my arms start to cramp, I bring my arms back down, giving up.

I poke my head out of the dressing room, searching for Eleanor. I can see Harry looking at me, eyebrows pulled together in confusion.

“El?” I ask out loud.

“Yeah, babe?” she replies from the room beside me.

“Are you able to help me with my dress?”

I can feel Harry’s gaze burning through me as I avoid meeting his eyes. I had debated whether it would’ve been okay to ask him to help me but I just decided to ask Eleanor to be safe.

“I just started changing. I’ll be there in a minute.”

I'm about to go back into my dressing room to wait for her but her voice stops me.

“Harry’s there, isn’t he? Why don’t you ask him?”

I freeze in my spot, hesitantly looking over at Harry. He’s just as surprised as I am at Eleanor’s suggestion. I’m a bit confused as to why she would suggest that Harry help me but before I can think about it, Harry clears his throat, interrupting my thoughts.

“Do…do you need help?”

I straighten up, pulling the curtain open slightly. I bite my lip in contemplation and nervousness and I see Harry do the same. However, I start to think that he’s biting his lip for a different reason.

I nod before I can convince myself that this is another risky decision. “Sure. If you don’t mind.”

I turn around and step further inside of the dressing room, hearing Harry stand up from the couch and walking over to me. I feel his presence behind me and I wait in anticipation for what’s to come next. I close my eyes as I feel Harry’s fingers glide up along my waist before they land on the zipper near the middle of my back. Harry torturously glides the zipper slowly up to the top of the dress. I stay put in my spot, not sure why I was craving more of his touch.

He seems to want the same thing as I feel his hands graze my arms. They trail my skin, going up until they reach my shoulders. The warmth of his hands cups my shoulders before I feel his hot breath fan out onto my ear and neck. My head reflexively turns to the side and it seems to be what Harry was hoping to get as a response because I feel the softness of his lips on the skin of the crook of my neck. My whole body ignites on fire and I feel myself leaning back into his body.

His arms roam down my body before they snake around my waist, pulling me even closer. I push against Harry until I feel us rest against the wall behind him, allowing myself to lean into him more. His lips trail along my neck and then back along the length of my jaw, finally resting on the skin behind my ear. My hands tighten around his, which are still clawing into my waist and stomach.

“Harry…” I breathe.

My voice seems to spark something inside of him because the pressure of his lips strengthens against my skin, his arms tightening around me just as much.

“Lily…” Even though my name is spoken in a whisper, I can hear it bouncing off of the walls in the small dressing room, getting louder and louder with each echo.

Suddenly, I’m hit with a sense of déjà vu, my mind taking me back to the time when Harry and I were found in almost the exact position as we are now. However, back then, things were different. Much different.

Even though I’m sure both of us are still in love with each other, back then, we didn’t have anything in our way. No drama, no mistakes, no girlfriends.

I’m hit with a wave of emotions as I remember how happy I was back then. How happy both of us were. I remember how I was really starting to believe that Harry and I were meant for each other.

It’s only when I feel Harry freeze and tense from behind me that I realize that I started crying. A sniffle reverberates around the dressing room and I open my eyes to see tears flowing down my cheeks from the reflection from the small mirror in front of us.

“Lily? What’s wrong?” he asks anxiously.

I pull myself away from Harry’s embrace, ducking my head as I wipe away the tears.

“Lily. Why are you crying?”

I ignore his question, keeping my back to him.

“I’ll be right out.”

Silence fills the small space around us, feeling it suffocate me as I start to feel claustrophobic. I feel a light touch on my arm but I flinch away.

“I’ll be right out,” I say again but with more firmness.

All I can hear is Harry’s breathing. A few agonizing seconds later, I hear him walk out. It’s only when I know that the curtain is separating me from the one who’s making my life a constant roller coaster that I allow myself to free the built up tears. I lean my back against the wall, slowly sliding down to sit on the floor.

The tears just start coming out on its own.

I don’t even know why I’m crying. I’m not sure whether it’s because I’m upset with Harry for doing what he did - even though I allowed him to continue his actions - or whether it’s because I miss him, that I want him back.

Being in his arms again made me feel the safety and love and belonging that I felt back when we were still together. But now, I feel like it’s stronger than ever just because of the fact that I can’t have him.

I guess it’s all for the better. I’m leaving in a bit over a month and I don’t want to make my feelings for him grow any stronger and deeper. He’s with Ivana and he will probably still be with her when I leave.

I’m just setting myself up for more pain and heartbreak by allowing him - and myself - to do these things. I can’t let it go on any longer or I’m going just going to make myself go crazier. My mind and my thoughts are all over the place, especially when I’m around Harry.

I don’t know what to do. I thought that establishing that we would just be friends now would be enough for us to make it easy for the both of us. But it’s not as easy as I thought it would be. If anything, it’s made things more complicated. Things were better when I ignored him, when I didn’t allow myself to be around him.

Even though it’s want we both need, I know that it’s not what we both want. But do I do what makes things easier or what makes me happier?

I have no freaking idea.

“Lily?”

I’m snapped out of my thoughts as I hear Eleanor say my name through the curtain. I stand up, wiping away the last tears from my face and take a deep breath.

“Yeah, I’ll be right out,” I reply, my sentence ending in a squeak.

I quickly change out of the dress, not feeling excited about buying it anymore. I change back into my own clothes. Leaving the clothes I picked out to try on hanging on the hooks, I grab my bag and pull the curtain back.

I can see Harry standing with Louis and Eleanor, looking nervous with his hands in his pockets. His eyes are wide as he looks at me but I look away.

“You don’t like anything you picked out?” Eleanor asks.

I focus on her, seeing Harry still looking at me from the corner of my eyes.

I just shake my head.

Eleanor slowly nods her head. “Alright, well Louis and I will just pay for our things. We’ll meet you two outside.”

I sneak a quick glance at Harry, who’s looking at me with so much worry that I have to look away.

“I…I need to go to the bathroom. I’ll meet you outside.”

Not allowing anyone to respond, I quickly make my way through the store, walking outside and heading out to the main entrance. I can’t be around any of them right now. I feel like I’m going to have a panic attack. I take multiple deep breaths once I reach the outside of the mall, letting the fresh air clear my mind.

I call a taxi and once it arrives five minutes later, I text Eleanor.

*I’m starting to feel a little sick. I’m just going to head back to Ed’s place. I think it’ll be good to talk to him too. Thanks again for letting me stay the night. I’ll talk to you later xx*

I tell the driver Ed’s address and he drives off. Not a minute later, my phone starts ringing. Thinking that it’s Eleanor calling back in regards to my text, I quickly answer it without looking at the ID.

“Sorry I left so abruptly. I think I’m coming down with--”

“Lily, why the hell did you leave like that?”

Harry.

I remain silent, my heart thumping against my chest.

“You could’ve asked me to take you home. And are you sure you’re leaving because you’re sick or is it because…because of what happened in the dressing room?”

Harry’s voice is filled with worry, just like his entire face was when I took the one last glance at him before I left.

“Harry, I think…I think we need to spend some time apart. Just for a little while,” I quickly add. “This…this is harder than I thought it would be. I think we’re just both overwhelmed with this whole being-friends-again thing that we’re forgetting about everything else. We’re both forgetting that you have a girlfriend and, because of that, we’re both forgetting that we can’t be doing these things that we did back when we were together. We can’t do that, Harry. It’s not right. It’s just messing me up in my head. I…I just need some time and…and space.”

I sit in silence, waiting for him to say something. I can feel the tears building up in my eyes again and I grasp my phone harder in my hand to stop myself.

“Lily. Look, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done what I did back there. I know I promised that I would stop messing with your head but I swear that wasn’t my intention. I just…I wanted to know what it felt like to have you near me again. You looked so beautiful in that dress and--”

“Harry, stop! This is exactly what I’m talking about. You can’t say these things to me! Where’s it going to get us? Nowhere. You can’t do that. You can’t tell me that I look beautiful when you have someone else much more beautiful than me that you’re in a relationship with. You can’t hold me and touch me like you did when you have someone who is the only one that’s able to touch you back. You can’t try to kiss me when someone else is able to kiss you anytime she wants. You have to stop feeling this way about me when the fact that when I feel these things for you and I can’t have you, it hurts. It hurts like hell.”

“You were into that as much as I was so don’t blame this all on me!”

Out of everything I just blurted out at him, this is all I get as a response.

“I know that, Harry! I never said that I wasn’t at fault here. That’s why I think it’s best that we both stay away from each other. I can’t trust myself around you. I don’t think straight when I’m around you, let alone touching you. Who knows what would have happened if we didn’t stop in that dressing room. And it doesn’t matter if I was into that moment, I’m not the one that’s in a relationship with someone else.” I take a deep breath, trying but failing to calm myself down. “Harry, I can’t do this. It’s too hard.”

Sobs escape my chest and I don’t even care about the driver looking at me worriedly from the rearview mirror.

“You say that you’re not trying to mess with my head but you’re showing me otherwise. You’re with Ivana so you either show that you really care about her and stop messing with my head or just stop being around me anymore because I’m not going to allow myself to be someone who messes up someone else’s relationship.”

Harry remains silent. I know threatening him doesn’t really help our situation but I can’t think of any other way to plead with him how much I want - no, need - him to stop messing with my head. It’s the only way he’ll understand just how much power he has over me. Any word, and touch, even just a glance from him and I find myself falling apart.

I take the growing silence as an opportunity to say my final thoughts before I end this call that might be the last time that we speak for a while.

“I’m sorry if this isn’t what you want but this is what I need. It’s too hard for me. I think we were just trying too hard to make it work and I think that one problem that we both had going into this was that neither of us knew what we wanted to work for. Neither of us knew what we were trying to get out of this friendship and we just keep making a bigger mess. I thought it would be easier than staying away from you but it’s not. Not even a little bit.” I pause to take a shaky breath. “I…I think we just need to spend some time apart. It’s only for a little while, I promise. I just…I need time to breathe. I need to think things through and straighten out some of my thoughts.”

He still doesn’t say anything.

“Goodbye, Harry.”

I allow the line to continue for a couple of seconds more, thinking - hoping - that he’ll say something, anything.

But he doesn't.

I force myself to take the phone from my ear and end the call.

I close my eyes.

I know I’m a coward for running away again but I can’t seem to shake this stupid habit. I don’t know why I can’t stop doing this. I feel like there’s nothing else I can do. It feels like it’s the only thing that I know has always worked for me when nothing else has.

I know I shouldn’t have left like that but I don’t think I could’ve kept a straight face in front of all of them, especially Harry. Louis and Eleanor don’t know what happened behind those closed curtains, Harry touching me and then me falling apart afterwards.

They most likely know that something’s happened with my sudden departure. Would Harry tell them?

I know that I’m going to end up telling Eleanor and Perrie later so I don’t even care if Harry tells them.

I look out the window, seeing the grey skies set by the nearing rainstorm.

I really thought that things between Harry and I would be okay. After last night when we had sung and played guitar, I had thought that things would go smoothly just like it did then. I thought that things would be the same as how they were back when we were still friends.

But one touch from Harry, any feeling of his breath on my skin breaks me apart. Just when I thought I was strong enough to be around Harry’s presence, I bring myself into situations where I break into even more pieces.

In those moments, Harry takes another piece of me with him.

And what I’m afraid of is walking into an unknown where Harry will either take enough pieces that I will never be whole again or that he’ll eventually pick up every single piece and make me whole again.

 

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