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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128. Reassurance

                  

Lily's POV

Day one of this break is as hard as I thought it would be. No morning text. No 'have a lovely day'. No 'I miss you'.

Of course I shouldn't be complaining. This is what I asked for. I wanted a break and I know that it means completely cutting off all means of communication with him. We didn't go through one day where we didn't talk to each other, whether it was through a call or text or video chatting. So, of course it's a bit weird, but, hopefully, I'll get used to it.

I've distracted myself the entire day by immersing myself in my schoolwork. I only took breaks to go to the bathroom and to eat.

Surprisingly, Harry hasn't contacted me at all and I'm not sure how I should take that. I know that he was angry when he left so I have no idea how he's feeling now. Of course I hope he's doing okay but I know that I won't be able to find out personally.

I shake my head, realizing that I'm drifting off again. I'm drifting off to the thoughts that I definitely shouldn't be thinking about right now.

At about five o'clock, as I'm about halfway done my paper, my phone starts ringing. My heart skips a beat, thinking it's going to be Harry but then I remember that I had set a different ringtone to his number. I've always had it different than everyone else. I remember changing it when he had left for tour for the first time.

I let out a breath of relief when I realize that it's not his ringtone. I look at the number, not knowing who it is. I hesitate to answer it but I know that Harry wouldn't try to call me using someone else's phone.

I take a deep breath before I hit the 'answer' button.

"Hello?" I answer nervously.

"Hello," a woman's voice speaks through the phone. "May I speak with Ms. Benson, please?"

The voice is unfamiliar but I'm just relieved it's not Harry.

"Speaking," I reply.

"Oh, hello. This is Sandra from the dog shelter. I just wanted to inform you that the puppy that you're adopting is ready to be picked up any time today. We're closed tomorrow so the next possible day would be Monday."

I completely forgot about the puppy. This entire week has been stressful that I didn't even remember about it. Since the party was last weekend, we weren't able to pick it up and now it's just completely left my mind this entire week.

I needed a break from everything so I can focus on school and now I have to take care of a puppy. I know that I can't expect Harry to take care of it. And it's not just because of the fact that he's touring right now but adopting a puppy was my idea so I know that it's my responsibility.

I breathe in deeply, not knowing what to do.

"Um...I'm just wondering but would it be possible to pick her up another day? I'm just so busy right now and I'm not sure if I'll be able to take care of it."

"Oh," she says. "I'm sorry but the paperwork is already done and it says that you have a certain timeline to pick it up. If you're unable to at this time, we're going to have to put her back up for adoption and we can't guarantee that she'll still be here when you come back."

I immediately consider it but as soon as I think about the puppy's face when Harry and I had seen it at the shelter, I know that I can't even think about not adopting her. I fell in love with her as soon as I saw her. I knew that she would be my puppy as soon as I held her in my arms.

I can't imagine anyone else having her.

And the fact that Harry wanted her, too, I knew that she was ours, not just mine.

Plus, Harry had already bought everything last week before we left for London, including her bed and the dog food.

I take a deep breath and clear my throat. "No, it's okay. I'll find someone to help me out. I'd still like to adopt her. I can pick her up tonight."

"Perfect. She'll be here waiting for you."

"Thank you. I'll be there soon."

I end the call and look down at my phone. I go to my pictures and scroll down until I find the certain one that I'm looking for. It's the pictures that Harry had taken of the two of us with the puppy, the one of us smiling at the camera with the puppy in between us and the other picture with Harry and I sharing a kiss.

I feel my heart tug as I remember the day we went to the shelter but, of course, I force myself to stop. I can't think about it. I can't think about him. It's just going to make this even harder than it already is.

I turn off my phone, knowing that I can't take looking at those pictures any longer. I close my eyes and take a deep breath, trying to calm my emotions.

I guess the puppy could be a good distraction. I mean, she may be a constant reminder of Harry but I'm sure I'll be more focused on taking care of her than thinking about the reason she was adopted.

Deciding that I need another break, I grab my phone and my bag and head out. El is in London with Louis until tomorrow so I'm still alone here in the flat.

I lock up behind me and head down to the lobby. As I walk out of the building, I try not to think about the fact that I'm going to be in Harry's car.

Of course I thought about asking him to take his car back but I knew that it wouldn't even be a question. I know that he would refuse to take it back even during this break. I know I've hurt him already. I know that he would be more upset if I told him that I didn't want to use his car anymore.

I guess it's one way that I can reassure him during this break. I know he would lose his mind at the thought of me not using it. There's a part of me that knows that he wouldn't even agree to the break if I gave him his car back.

Thankfully, when I step inside the car, it doesn't smell like him. He hasn't used it in a long time so his smell has faded from the interiors.

I head to the shelter, turning up the radio to drown out my thoughts. I ignore the fact that Harry would be with me right now or the fact that we would be picking up our puppy together. I ignore the fact that Harry doesn't even know that I'm getting the puppy that we picked together.

I know he'll find out eventually and I can't even imagine how he's going to take it.

I pull up to the front of the shelter and turn off the car, hopping out and heading inside. I see Sandra sitting behind the desk and she smiles at me when she sees me.

"Ms. Benson. It's nice to see you again. Are you excited to see her?"

A genuine smile spreads across my face for the first time in what feels like forever. The thought of having the puppy with me, especially at a time like this is already making me less stressed.

I nod. "Very. If I could, I would take all of them home with me."

Sandra laughs as she stands up. "I'm sure they would love that but I'm also sure you would go crazy."

This time, I laugh with her as I watch her walk around the desk.

"Well, she's waiting for you out back. Why don't we go get her?"

I nod, following behind her to the back of the building where all of the dogs are. Once again, I feel the urge to play with all of them but I know that I would end up staying here for hours. We walk all the way to the back and I immediately hear the familiar yelps and squeaky barks as we approach the puppies.

I walk up to the barrier and I see the golden retrievers crowding the spot in front of me, pushing each other to get to the front. I look around at all of them and I quickly spot my puppy. I remember her being smaller than the others. And I also remember her having slightly darker fur on her ears.

"There she is," I squeal, feeling myself getting excited.

Sandra leans over the barrier and picks her up. She hands her over to me and my heart melts when I take her in my arms. She wiggles around and takes turns licking my face and smelling my hair. I pet her, my wide smile not leaving my face as I look at her.

"Do you have a name yet?" Sandra asks me.

My smile falters for a second but I manage to hold it as I look up at her. "No, not yet. Um...still thinking about it."

She just gives me an understanding smile before I look away.

The truth is that Harry and I were supposed to pick a name for her together. Again, I ignore the fact that Harry and I would be deciding that right now. I can't help thinking about how we would argue over her name. And, knowing us, we would playfully bicker all night until we find one that we both like.

However, knowing Harry, he would let me choose the name, even if I decided to call her 'Pinky Cutiepie' or something else really ridiculous.

I hold my tears back as I force the smile to stay on my face.

"I can tell she already loves you," Sandra says.

I focus my attention back to the ball of fur in my arms and I can feel my heart lightening. I know that I shouldn't be thinking of her as a distraction but I know that things will be a little bit easier to handle with her with me. Each day will be easier to endure as long as I have her, as long as she loves me unconditionally, knowing that I love her just the same already.

I take a deep breath and look over at the other puppies, watching them trying to climb up the wall.

I pout, feeling my heart pull at the sight in front of me. I really wish that I could take them all home with me but, just like Sandra said, I would definitely go crazy. I don't even know what to expect with just one puppy.

Sandra and I head back to the front of the shelter and after I sign a couple more papers, I head back to the car, this time, with a puppy.

I place her in the passenger seat and when I drive back to the flat, I drive a lot slower than I usually do. It doesn't help that she doesn't stop moving, either to lean up against her door, even though she can't reach the window, or to walk over the console and into my lap. She goes back and forth the entire way home and I breathe a sigh of relief when I finally park in the parking lot of my flat.

I pick her up and hug her close as we make our way through the cold air. I rush inside the building, feeling my muscles relaxing as soon as we're met with the warmth. I take her straight up to the flat and place her on the ground so I can get her a bowl of food. She follows me, literally trailing by my feet that I have to be careful not to step on her.

I take the bowl of food to the living room and I place it on the ground. She immediately starts to eat, her entire head fitting inside the bowl. I lay down on my stomach in front of her, just taking this time to admire her some more before I have to go back to the pile of schoolwork that's waiting for me in my room.

As soon as she's done eating, I get her a bowl of water and bring it to my room with her following behind me. She walks around my room, sniffing everything she can reach as I place the bowl of water by my desk.

I sit down and watch her until she finishes drinking and leans up on my leg. I pick her up and turn the chair around, facing the desk.

I hold her up in front of my face as she wriggles in my hands.

"What am I going to name you?"

I know that Harry and I were supposed to name her together but I can't just not name her until this break is over. And it's not like I can call Harry just for him to help me pick a name for her. It would just completely mess everything up.

As bad as it's making me feel, I know that I have to pick one for her by myself.

"What kind of name do you want?" I ask her. "Do you want a normal name or do you want a unique name?"

She gives me a squeaky bark and I laugh.

"Hmm. Well, you're definitely a special dog so I think you deserve a special name. I just have no idea what."

I lean back in my chair, placing her in my lap. She just rests of paws on my stomach, looking up at me with perky ears.

I swivel the chair side to side as I try to think of a name. I look away in thought, occasionally looking back down at her to try to get more inspiration. This is harder than I thought it would be.

I wrack through my brain, trying to think of the perfect, special name for her. I look around the room, not getting any ideas.

I'm about to give up and call Ed to help me but when I glance out the window, I freeze in my spot and look up at what caught my attention.

It's the perfect name.

Harry and I picked her together so it's only fitting that she has a name that is special to the both of us, a name that has a meaning behind it.

I look up at it and then down at the puppy, back and forth until I know for sure that it's the perfect name.

I pick her up and hold her in front of me again.

"I know the perfect name. What do you think of...'Luna'? Hm? Do you like 'Luna'?"

Again, she gives a loud yelp and then starts to lick my face.

"I'll take that as a 'yes'," I laugh.

Luna.

Latin for 'moon'.

It's perfect and I know that Harry would love it.

I hate to admit it but I wish he were here to share this moment with.

Before I can start to torture myself even more with feelings of regret, a knock on the front door breaks me from my thoughts.

I have no idea who it could be. El and I rarely get visitors.

I keep Luna in my arms as I slowly head out of my room and towards the front door. I keep quiet, my heart pounding as I tiptoe to the front door.

It's not like it's an intruder. This building has top security. Only residents can get in and even if people have visitors, they have to get through the front desk. There are also security cameras on every foot of this building.

I reach the door and I nervously lean up to look through the peephole.

There's no one. Nothing but the wall in front of the door. A part of me knows that I shouldn't open it but curiosity gets the best of me and I take out my phone, ready to call the police. I open the door slowly, peeking through and still not seeing anyone.

I open it up even more, listening for any sounds but I don't hear anything. I open the door all the way and nervously stick my head out and look down the hallway on both sides.

Nothing.

I thought I would feel better knowing that there was no one but then I get scared at the thought that someone knocked on my door and left.

I'm about to call the front desk but just as I start to close the door, something on the ground catches my eye.

On the floor lies one single lily.

I tuck Luna in one arm as I bend down and pick up the flower. I bring it up to my face and smell it, inhaling the strong, earthy smell and I immediately know that it's fresh.

I give one more look up and down the hallway, still as empty as it was before. I close the door and bring the flower to the kitchen. I'm about to place it down to find a vase but then I see the little card on a string attached to the stem.

I place Luna down on the ground and, with shaky hands, I flip the card over. When I read the words, even though it's just a name, I feel my heart pull in my chest as my hand reaches up to cover my mouth, tears welling up in my eyes.

I know immediately who it's from, even before I read the name. He didn't even use his name but I know it's him.

Written on the card, in his writing:

Love, Marshmallow.

I let out a quiet laugh, shaking my head in amusement. Trust Harry to find a loophole in this break. I told him that it would be better if we didn't talk. It would defeat the whole purpose of it. I know that if we did talk, especially since we talk every day, I know that I would quickly take it all back.

However, I know that if we don't do this, things may just end up worse. When things are good between us, it's really good. I'm the happiest that I've ever been. However, when things are bad, things are really bad.

I can't risk letting the stress that's still constantly growing affect our relationship. I know how I am when I'm stressed. I lash out at people, especially those around me, especially those that I love the most.

I remember the many arguments I had with my parent during my teenage years when I wouldn't get my way. I remember the numerous fights I had with Marcus during the entire two years of our relationship. I remember saying a lot of things that I had regret. And they were over silly things.

And now, even with Harry, even from the beginning from when we first met, the both of us had said things to each other that we both admitted that we had regret saying.

I remember taking things out on him a lot, even during the times we weren't together.

Those things are what made me scared of working out all of my issues with him. And since a lot of those issues are because of what comes with his career, I know that I would take it out on him and a lot worse this time.

The hate, the death threats, and him being away a lot are the things that I want to talk to him about but I know that it can't be resolved in just a matter of days. With the stress I've been feeling, I know that I'll lash out at him and I know that I'll most likely say things to him that I'll regret.

And knowing what hotheads we both are, things could escalate to the point that I don't want to reach. It's the point that I'm trying to avoid, the point that I'm scared to reach if we don't take this break.

I wish he could understand this.

But I can't explain this to him. I need to stay strong and remind myself that this is for the best for us. It'll be easier if we don't communicate because if we did, it would just make us crave more.

If we talk, we'll want to want every day. If we talk every day, we'll want to see each other. If we see each other, we're bound to eventually talk about the problems we've been having.

Those problems are what I don't have the time and mental strength for. It'll just have to wait until I can focus solely on us. Until then, I'll have to bite my tongue and endure not being able to hear his voice or see his face.

However, with this flower and the note attached to it, it's a good alternative. Trust Harry to be smart and find a way to communicate with me without being directly from him. Using Marshmallow as his loophole, I smile at his cleverness.

There's not one part of me that is upset or angry at this gesture. I can handle this. It may seem small but it means so much to me. It reassures me that Harry isn't completely angry with me for wanting this break. It means that he's putting aside his feelings towards it and letting me know that he'll try. He'll try for me.

This one small gesture lets me know that we can survive this. We can make it.

I immediately start to think of ways I can let him know that I appreciate the gesture but I have no idea what to do. I'm not as clever as Harry.

Does he even expect anything back in return? Will he be offended if I don't?

I come to the conclusion that I can't decide right now. I'll think about it another day.

Instead, I smile as I pick up Luna, still holding the flower in my other hand. She sniffs at it and tries to play with it but I hold it out of reach, not wanting it to break.

"This is from your daddy, Luna. You'll be seeing him again soon. He's just busy right now being a superstar. I know he'll be excited to see you."

I find a vase for the flower, filling it up with water before taking it back to my room. I place it on my bedside table, right beside the picture of Harry and I that I framed, the one of the three pictures that we took on the bridge.

I chose the one where we were laughing, knowing that that moment was special to the both of us.

I place Luna on the ground and I notice that she isn't as hyper as she was just a while ago.

"Someone's getting a little tired, huh?"

I take out her bed from the closet, placing it right beside my bed. She walks over to it, sniffs it for a few seconds before she crawls inside and curls up into a little ball. I pet her gently, her eyes fluttering closed until I hear quiet, little snores.

I lean down and give her a kiss, already falling more in love with her.

And now, knowing that I can't use up any more time, I stand up and sigh. I reluctantly walk back to my desk, sitting down and looking down at the papers in front of me.

It was a good break with Luna but now, it was back to reality.

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