The Dangers of Falling. AU

Amelia Shades has been running from her past for awhile, and never looked back. But while running, she runs into the dashing Harry Styles. He's charming, arrogant, cheeky, and nosy; four of the things she hates. But she feels a certain tug towards him; one that makes her want to lose her nomad streak. Can Harry save her, or is she too far gone?

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3. If You Love Me Let Me Go.

I huddled silently in the corner, the screams from downstairs echoing through my head as they reached my ears. She was screaming her lungs out, not catching a breath. It was as if she was waiting for the air in her lungs to burn out, to leave her blue. I covered my ears, the quiet tears dribbling down my cheeks. The screams ceased to nothing, and I stood up quickly, my small feet padding across the hardwood floor to the door. The door swung open abruptly, and she wasn’t standing like normal. She was crawling on the floor, her black and blue arms reaching out to grasp the floor to pull her forward. Her face was covered in a red liquid, seeping down her face like raindrops. I stuck my hand out, caressing the side of her face. The liquid was sticky.
"Run." she croaked, her arms finally giving out on her. "Hide, Meli." she collapsed on the hardwood floor, her chest heaving up and down slowly. I heard the stomping up the stairs, the same curse words flying out of the monster’s mouth as she swung the door open, the back of the door hitting the wall with a smack. The monster’s mouth was turned up in a grin, a beer bottle in her hand. She had the red liquid dripping from her mouth. The monster held up her belt in her right hand, holding it high. She smiled in cruel contentment as it flew down, the weapon slashing at my legs, at my arms, at my face.


"Mommy!" I screamed the monster’s name.

My eyes flew open immediately, my spirit finally returning to my body. I gasped for air, my breathing heavy as I sat up in the satin sheets. I was sticky with beads of sweat, my pulse racing beneath my skin. I slowly pulled my hair up into a ponytail, cold air hitting the back of my neck in sweet relief. I rested my head on my knees, closing my eyes, trying to calm my racing thoughts. But even with my eyes closed, I could still see the monster, I could still see the pain of my younger self. I kept my eyes wide open. These dreams weren’t new to me. I used to wake up in panic attacks, screaming and tangling around in the sheets. But I got used to having the nightmares; it was like a routine now, although I had no idea what the setting would be. Sometimes I would be a little girl, sometimes I would be barely into my teens, and sometimes I would be a few years younger than I was now. All of it was just a nightmare, but they felt so real. I traced my leg, cringing as I could still feel the slashing of the belt. No marks covered me anymore, but the scars hadn't all faded. I laid back on the bed, turning my head slightly to take a peek at the small alarm clock on the bedside table. 3:51. I sighed in annoyance, knowing I would never be able to fall back asleep at this hour. I crept over towards the door, sliding out silently and closing the door quietly behind me.
I wasn’t the only one sneaking out of my bedroom. I kept my back pressed to the wall as a hazy Jayden quietly walked down the hallway. Her black hair was a tangled mess, her electric green eyes glazed over.

"Jayden?" I whispered. She ignored me, and continued down the hallway towards the stairs.

"Jayden." I said, more urgent and aloud, walking after her. She ignored me again, descending down the staircase with her hand on the rail.

"Jay-" A hand clamped over my mouth, dragging me backwards up the stairs. My arm automatically jerked back, my elbow hitting someone straight in the gut. The hand left my mouth and the body fell to the floor with a thump. I turned quickly, straddling the body and grabbing the person’s hands, holding them tightly above their head.
"Amelia, let go. It’s just me." the raspy voice whispered breathily, gasping for air.


"Harry, you nitwit, you scared the bloody hell out of me." I whispered harshly, clamping down on his wrists. I rolled off of him, taking a seat on a stair.


"I was just trying to get you to be quiet. I didn’t expect you to go all fighter on me." he argued, adjusting his t-shirt. I surveyed him as he rolled his arm back and forth.


"I didn’t hurt you that bad, did I?" I muttered, a bit of guilt building up. I shoved the emotion down. I had no reason to be guilty.


"Just a little bit."


"Huh, those self-defense lessons paid off then." I smirked to myself, a little pride making me glow.


"Right."


"Why wouldn’t Jayden answer me?" I questioned, watching the dark brunette move around to the couch and turn on the TV. She seemed zombie-like, almost.


"Um, Jayden, she uh.. Sleepwalks." Harry scratched the back of his head absentmindedly.


"Oh… why?" I asked, a shy part of my nosiness peeking out from under the covers.


"She’s been sleepwalking ever since she was younger. Her mom died when she was twelve, and they used to watch the telly together early in the mornings before her dad woke up. After that, she lived with her dad for a year or two, and things got bad. It’s not really my place to tell what went on. My mum fought her father for custody, and after a long battle, we won. Mom brought her in, and I didn’t mind. She’s my cousin, after all, I spent all my life with her… she was already like a sister to me. But, yeah. So every night, around three or so in the morning, she sleepwalks from her room all the way downstairs and sits on the couch for about two hours or so with the remote in her hand, blindly watching whatever happens to be on." I nodded, staring intently at Jayden. No wonder her eyes were glossed over. She didn’t even seem to be alive.


"I’m sorry." I whispered, not exactly sure what to say at this moment.


"You know, you say sorry a lot… even when you have nothing to be sorry for." Harry whispered back, turning his head to look at me.


"I know." I stared back at him for a minute, before returning my gaze to Jayden.
"Why don’t you just… wake her up?" I suggested.


"It’s extremely dangerous to wake up a sleepwalker. She could freak out and go completely bonkers. She doesn’t even know she sleepwalks… My mum and I haven’t bothered to tell her. She would throw a fit and beg for medical attention. That’s another thing about Jayden… she has this hidden side to her, where she obsesses over her secret flaws. She think she has to be perfect. It bugs me sometimes."


"I don’t understand why people think they have to be perfect. I don’t think it’s possible… everyone has a different idea of perfection. You can’t please everyone." I sighed softly.


"Do you always talk like that?" Harry asked, his body slightly turning towards me.


"Talk like what?" My eyebrows scrunched up in confusion.


"All… what’s the word… poetic. Yeah, poetic. Do you always talk like a poet?" he questioned.


"Uh… I didn’t even know I spoke like a poet." I laughed slightly, staring down at my polka-dot sock paired with my striped sock.


"You do, sometimes. You remind me of my buddy Zayn." he grinned childishly at me. "You two could have long deep conversations about quotes and the meaning of life."


"Oh, I highly doubt that. Don’t even get me started." I laughed again, reaching up to toy with my ponytail. Out of the corner of my eye I could spy Harry smiling at me.


"So, I’ve been meaning to ask… what are you doing up at this hour?" he asked, folding his legs Indian style.


"I couldn’t sleep." I murmured, the joking tone in my voice tipping down a notch.


"Bad dream?"


"More like a nightmare." I nodded, averting eye contact. I knew one look and he’d know something was definitely wrong.


"Do you want to talk about it?" his voice was set in a whisper, but I could hear the gentle tone softening his words.


"No." I answered immediately, making Harry flinch a little. We both broke into silence as the television went dark, and Jayden’s zombie figure trudged up the stairs past us. A click of a door closing followed shortly after.


"Talking helps, Amelia." Harry answered after a while.


"I don’t believe that."

"That’s obvious." his tone was sarcastic.


"You don’t need to have your nose in my business." I retorted.


"You aren’t that secretive."


"Bull shit." The laugh that followed was cold. Harry leaned in towards me, the darkness making it hard to see him. I shivered as his warm breath met near my ear.


"When are you going to realize I’m not blind?" he whispered. I remained completely still as his warmth left me.
"Good morning, Amelia." he chuckled, before jogging up the stairs. I waited for the click of the door closing before I quickly made my way back up to the guest room.

_________________________________________


 

The fine trio were all gathered around the island in Harry’s kitchen, laughing at something I didn’t catch. I was wrapped up tight in my jacket, my hair still a mess. I just wanted to get out of here. I didn’t bother with looking good while doing it. My suitcase lagged along behind me. Harry smiled when he saw me, but it soon faded to a frown as he spotted the suitcase behind me. Jayden spun around in her seat, her face alive unlike last night. I couldn’t look at her the same. Behind her smile, I could still the see the lifeless body controlled by her past.


"You’re really leaving?" Louis stated softly, looking down at the counter.


"I told you that yesterday. I wasn’t lying about it. I really need to go."


"You don’t need to go, you choose too." Jayden argued, a fire burning in her green eyes.


"Think what you want." I snapped back, the same fire building up in me.


"I’ll walk you out." Harry led me outside, taking the same position yesterday against my car.


"Thank you, for everything, Harry." I uttered, shivering as the wind blew icy air in my direction.


"No need to thank me. It’s what friends do." He smiled weakly.


"We’re not friends. We’re barely acquaintances."


"You think of it that way, but I sure don’t."


"Harry, just stop." I shouted, causing him to stumble back in surprise.
"Stop what, Amelia?" he retorted.
"Stop trying to be my friend. We were never friends, and we never will be. Stop trying to get to know me, stop acting like you care." I exclaimed, my hands balling into fists at my sides.


"I’m just trying to help you. Is that such a bad thing?" he yelled back.


"For the last time, I don’t want your help, nor do I need it. I’ve never needed anyone before, and I certainly don’t need anyone now." I hissed.


"You’re just pushing me away." Harry replied calmly. "Like you do with everyone else."


"I know." I stated, before unlocking the car door. I slipped, inside, jamming the key in the ignition. Harry leaned against the door, poking his head in through the window that was no longer there.


"I put my number in your phone." He muttered.


"Harry-" I began.


"Look, just call me if you ever need anything, all right?" he interrupted.


"Okay." I lied. Harry eyed me carefully, before walking back a few steps. I backed out of his driveway slowly, glancing behind me to look for cars. Harry stood looking after me as I sped down the road, and he remained there after I turned the corner.
I ran a hand through my messy mane, drumming my fingers on the steering wheel as I sat at a red light. I had been prepared to leave, it was all I wanted from the moment I woke up in Harry’s house. So why did I feel empty? My stomach growled loudly. That was probably one of the reasons why I felt empty. I turned to the left, a coffee house in view. I rushed inside, warm air blasting me. I shuddered in bliss. There were only a few people sitting at tables, chatting to one another or sitting alone with a book. I stood at the counter, waiting for a cashier. A tall dark haired girl walked up, a wide smile on her face.


"Good morning, miss." She said cheerily. "What can I get you?"


"A French vanilla cappuccino, and two banana nut muffins, please." I replied quietly, and the young girl rung up my total, before sending me off to a table. I slid into a booth by the window, taking out my phone from my jacket pocket. I rolled down my list of contacts, searching for Harry. His name was in big bold letters, and I quickly deleted his number. I almost laughed out loud how Harry thought he could help me. I was far too gone for someone to start helping me now. My phone buzzed, vibrating the table.


Unknown Number:


You’re not getting rid of me that easily. -Harry x

To: Unknown Number


Wanna bet?

I stuffed the phone angrily into my pocket. I should’ve known the sneaky lad would’ve put my number in his phone as well. I wasn’t getting rid of them that easily. How’d he know I deleted his number anyhow? He knows you better than you think... my conscience whispered, and I furiously ignored it. I shouldn’t have ever came to this cursed town in this first place. I should have kept driving, and maybe I wouldn’t be in this predicament. But you didn’t… my conscience whispered again, and I brushed the thought away.


"You ordered the French vanilla cappuccino and banana nut muffins, correct?" A small voice stated, and I looked up to a tall waiter. He was a young one I assumed, with his baby face and gentle features. The dirty blonde shaggy hair gave him away easily. The guy noticed my staring, and a slight blush crept up on his cheeks.


"Um, yeah. Sorry." He sat down the tray, setting my coffee and plate of two muffins in front of me.


"Anything else?" I glanced up into the boy’s eyes, shaking my head with a small mutter of no thank you. He still stood by my table though, cautiously waiting. He seemed deep in thought, possibly debating something in his head.


"Can I help you?" I finally sighed.


"You look really familiar." he blurted out. I froze, slowly raising my head to stare straight on at him. I surveyed him carefully. He didn’t look like anyone I knew.
"I’m sorry, but you just look like one of my old friends… her name was Amelia." He smiled cautiously, and one tiny dimple poked out on the right side of his cheek. I stared at him with wide eyes.


"Ian?" I gaped, and his eyes widened.


"So it is you." he breathed out, before quickly taking a seat in front of me in the booth.

"What happened to your hair?"


"Oh, um, I dyed it." I reached up self-consciously to pat my hair.


"It looks nice. Very Little Mermaid." he smiled, and I rolled my eyes.


"What are you doing here?"


"I moved here after I finished high-school to attend the college here. In my freshmen year, been here for a while now. Most importantly, what are you doing here? I haven’t seen you since-- um, since you left." he finished hesitantly.


"Um, I’ve been… traveling. Yeah, I’ve been traveling around, exploring new places." I lied.


"Ah, studying abroad. That’s cool, Ames." I cringed at the old nickname. "So, why are you here, then? It’s not a very famous place." he chuckled lightly, swooshing his hair to the side, revealing his deep brown eyes.


"I was just passing through. I stopped here late two nights ago, stayed with a friend. I was fixing to head out after I was done eating here." I lied, partially. Lies, lies, lies. Those were all I’ve been telling lately. The guilt was eating away at me. It wasn’t normal. What happened to the girl who was as cold as ice, the girl whose walls were bulletproof? I had lost her. The old and fragile weak girl was appearing now, all the emotions and lies finally crashing down on her. Hard. What made the lying even worse was I was now lying to my best friend, the guy who was there from the beginning, the guy who helped me through hell, the guy who was always there. He was being so honest with me, and I was lying straight to his innocent face. I was pathetic.


"You’re leaving?" he looked crestfallen, as if I had stomped on his heart. That’s what I liked about Ian. He was so kind-hearted. But, I learned the hard way that killed a person- not physically, but mentally.


"I know, I’m sorry… I just have a place I have to be." Another lie. What was that, three in a row already?


"What happened to you, Amelia?" his voice turned hard.


"What are you talking about?" My voice wavered a little as I looked up from my untouched food.


"Why do you keep lying to me?" My eyes widened. I thought I had gotten away with it. "Oh, that’s rich. You actually think I believed the bologna you’ve been feeding me? That actually hurts that you think I’m stupid enough to believe all of that. I know you better than that." he hissed.


"I-I’m sorry." I murmured, looking down at my lap. I hated seeing Ian upset- especially when it was my doing. I was losing it. I thought he believed it all.
"You can redeem yourself by telling me what really happened to you." he snapped, leaning back against the booth. I started from the other night I first showed up here and dished everything to him. He deserved to know the truth. Sure, not anything that happened before I came to this town, but he deserved to know what happened while I was here. I owed him at least that much. He listened patiently and quietly, as usual. Another thing I admired about Ian; he was a great listener. He waited till I finished before giving opinions, or talking. No interruptions.


"I’m sorry." He finally said after a moment of silence after I finished my story.


"Don’t be sorry, it wasn’t your fault." I shook my head at him, fiddling with my thumbs.
"So, who’s this Harry fellow again?" I told him all about the two days I spent with Harry, leaving out the parts of how he made me feel. I didn’t want to bother him with all that mush that’s been in my head. He smiled after I finished talking about the curly haired boy.


"He seems nice." he concluded.


"Yeah, a little too nice for my tastes." I grumbled.


"I, for one, like him. He’s someone you need."


"Yeah, well, I don’t want him." I sighed, taking a drink of the now cooled down cappuccino.


"Yes you do. It’s so obvious, I don’t understand why you bother trying to hide it." Ian teased, reaching over and taking a muffin. He took a huge bite before setting it back down on the plate.


"I see you still have the same appetite." I observed, an eyebrow raising as I attempted to change the subject. I didn’t want to talk about boys to Ian. We were best friends, for sure, but talking about boys wasn’t on the top of my list with Ian.


"Oh, no, don’t even think about trying to change the subject. Let’s talk about this."


"Ian." I groaned, sitting back against the booth. The corner of his lips tugged up in a teasing smile.

"All right, fine. You want to talk about this? There’s nothing to discuss. He was just a boy I happened to run into, who saved my life, and offered to let me stay with him. That’s it, the story is done, because I am not staying here. I’m not ever going to see him again, so there is no point in thinking about him."


"You’re going back to him." Ian said, completely ignoring my entire statement.


"Were you not listening to what I just said?" I huffed, rather annoyed.


"Oh, I heard, I just chose to ignore your lame attempt at trying to get rid of him." He smirked.

"But anyways, as I was saying, you’re going back to him. You’re going back there because I am not going to let you ruin your chance at happiness."


"Ian, he’s not happiness. He drives me insane." I scoffed.


"Look, just stay here. I finally got you back, Ames. Reunited. I don’t want to just have this, and watch you go and never see you again. And as your best friend, it’s my duty to make sure you’re okay." he stated. He held my gaze as I glared at him. Ian was the only one I’d managed to keep contact with. But, then again, he wasn’t a stranger. Stay… my conscience whispered. My mind was telling me to go. To leave this place, and forgot any of the people I’ve met. But my heart, and my conscience I presumed to be a crazy voice, was telling me to stay. Everyone’s begging you to stay… The crazy voice had a point. If they didn’t want me to stay, they would’ve told me to go.


"Fine." I finally breathed out, after a moment of arguing with myself. A wide grin spread across Ian’s face. "I hate you." I added.


"No, you just hate that I’m right." he corrected, "Now, give me your phone."


"Why?" I curiously studied him as I handed over my cell.


"Because, like Harry, I’m smart and texted myself from your phone. So, you can’t get rid of me either." he grinned triumphantly as he slid my phone back across the table. I glared at him.
"Next, you are going to get your ass in your car, drive over to Harry’s, and beg for forgiveness."


"I don’t beg." I sneered.


"True. He’ll let you back in, anyways." Ian shrugged. "Now shoo. Get out of here. Hasta la vista." flicking his hand towards the door. I rolled my eyes as I slid out of the booth.
"I’ll be taking your muffins. I’m rather famished." he winked.


"Famished? I bet you ate less than an hour ago. You just like free food." his laughter mingled with the bell of the café, and I rushed out towards my car. Truth be told, I was glad Ian was forcing me to go back to Harry’s. It was nice to have someone shove me in the right direction for a change, even though I should be making that decision myself. But, I make mistakes. Everyone does, even people that seem perfect. As I neared Harry’s house, that empty feeling was slowly sliding away, and replacing it was that same comforting feeling. I pulled into the driveway of the two-story house, and to my surprise, Harry, Jayden, and Louis were sitting out on the porch. They smiled as I stepped out of the car, before rushing to my side.


"We were waiting for your return." Louis teased.


"Yeah, took you long enough." Jayden added, shooting me a playful wink.


"Now, now, guys. Let’s just be happy she finally came around." Harry smiled softly at me, his dimples poking out. Louis and Jayden raced into the house, leaving Harry and I to follow at our slow pace behind them.


"You knew I’d come back?" I finally asked as Harry and I reached the porch. He hadn’t said much, which surprised me. I expected him to pelt me with questions, and rub it in my face that he was right.


"No. I just had a feeling you would be," Harry murmured, before pausing on the porch and turning to face me. "And I’m glad you did." Then he smiled; that playful, adorable, smile.

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