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2. proved me wrong

"Now, we've been hearing a lot of rumors lately about Hope and how she's off at school. We haven't seen you guys with her lately, so it makes sense? But is it true that you haven't seen her in three months?" The interviewer asked.

"Yeah," Liam sighed and I looked down at my hands in my lap. I didn't want to talk about her. It still hurt. "It's been absolutely crazy that she hasn't been with us. We talk to her everyday, but it's certainly not the same."

"What's she studying?"

"Cosmetology," Louis said, nodding. "She's always been interested in it. She's been doing quite well. We are very proud of her."

"Aw, thanks Daddy," a female voice filled my ears and I jumped, looking over my shoulder to see a girl standing behind the couch.

Holy shit.

She was gorgeous.

Her skin was tanner, her hair was longer and straightened, but curled at the tips. She was taller. I don't even know how that happened.

As all the boys jumped up from their spots to attack Hope with hugs and kisses, I stayed sat on the couch, mouth open wide, staring at her. Plenty of shows had done cheesy surprises like this. Reuniting loved ones. It was common, but I honestly didn't expect this.

"Hey Harry," she said, turning to me. "What? No hug? Not even a smile?"

Okay, I guess it wasn't completely her fault any of this happened. I couldn't be mad at her. I only had myself to blame.

I jumped up and ran to her, nearly knocking her off her golden heels that matched her tank top. It was a casual look, but still appropriate. Hope could never last that long in a dress or a skirt. She liked comfortable and I admired that.

Saving her from cracking her head open on the ground on live television, I gripped her by the waist and lifted her off her feet, spinning the two of us in a circle as I peppered her cheek in kisses.

"What are-? Who thought of-? How did-? Oh my God." I pulled away just enough to look over her face. God, she was beautiful.

She giggled. "I missed you, Styles. Gosh, are those tears?" She threw her head back as she cackled. Luckily, our microphones had been turned off.

I blinked my eyes a few times and blew off the fact that I had, in fact been on the verge of crying. "Shut up."

Hope laughed again and then kissed my cheek. "I don't know if I can go back. I missed you guys so much."

I noticed the scar on her temple. That was one thing that hadn't changed. I ran my thumb gently over it before brushing my lips against it in a soft kiss. It had been six years since the accident.

But as I pulled her into another bone crushing hug, I realized how much of an idiot I was. If I hadn't of waited too long. If I had just told her about my feelings, then things would be different. I'd be kissing her pink, glossy lips. I'd be speaking my mind about how gorgeous she looked and how much I had been dying to hold her in my arms like this again.

"Okay, okay," the interviewer continued as we all sat down on the couch. It was a complete squish and I would've found it easier if Hope had just sat on my lap. I wouldn't have minded. But she squished between Zayn and Louis and I continued to stare at her as if she were a newly discovered artifact.

"So, Hope, how are you?" The interviewer asked. I thought her name was Joan, but I couldn't remember. I was completely lost.

"I'm fantastic," Hope replied. "The school I'm at is in California, so I've been getting plenty of sun and done some sight seeing. I've totally missed the boys, though. I didn't realize it would suck this much being away from them."

"I bet," Joan continued. "And they've been keeping themselves fairly busy, too."

"I know!" Hope explained. "It's crazy! I mean, I just received a video of Louis's little one having a full-on conversation, Dani's pregnant and Zayn and Perrie are planning a wedding. Oh, and Niall can't stop talking about Chloe! He's completely hooked! And they're starting their seventh world tour! I honestly didn't expect them to last this long and that's only because I thought they would want to stop and just have a family, but they've certainly proved me wrong. Except for Harry." She looked at me. "You're doing well. You haven't dated a girl in six years. That's mental."

I smiled weakly at her and Liam noticed me, doing a quick double take. He kept his face emotionless, with only the slightest hint of confusion as he turned back to Joan.

"And Harry, you used to be the lady's man," she commented.

I tried hard to laugh at her attempted joke, but I could just let out a soft chuckle and nod.

"Well, that's all we have time for today! I'll see you all tomorrow!" Joan closed out the show and we all stood up, thanking her and then exiting the stage.

When we were standing out front of the two, side-by-side dressing rooms we were given, another, but more sincere, reunion took place. Louis couldn't stop hugging Hope and Niall was laughing as always.

But when I couldn't find Liam, I turned to look in the direction of where my name was being whispered. Liam stood behind me, right in front of our dressing room as he gestured me towards him. I looked back at the group once more and then joined him in the plain white room.

"What's up?" I asked, closing the door behind me.

Liam's back was towards me, his hands on his hips. He turned to face me, a smile on his face as he laughed in disbelief. "You still like her. You're still in love with Hope."

I rolled my eyes. "Liam, not-"

"I thought you'd get over it by the time she was eighteen. If you hadn't, I assumed you would've at least told her, but here we are now, six years later, and you are still head over heals in love with this girl."

"I don't wanna talk about it!" I whined and fell face first into a pillow on the sofa.

"Oh, come on, Harold," Liam said, sitting next to my body. "It's cute."

I turned my head to glare at him.

"Sorry, that was the wrong thing to say," he apologized. "It isn't cute. It's just, six years is a long, long time."

"Trust me," I sighed. "I know."

"I think you should tell her," he said, patting my back.

"No." I shot up into a sitting position. "No, no, no! Absolutely not. That would ruin everything. She has a boyfriend!"

"Who? Nicholas? He's no competition." Liam shrugged and rolled his eyes.

"They've been together for two years," I groaned.

"Just trying to make you feel better," Liam looked away from me. "I'm going back out there. You coming?"

I fell back onto the couch and huffed. "No."

"Fine." Liam stood up. "I'm sorry, Harry."

"I know," I sighed, closing my eyes. I heard the door open and close and then I knew I was alone.

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