Chapter 6 - Family drama
Tessa’s family was driving her crazy. Today was the fourth day of her visit and her grandmother’s birthday. This meant she “only” had five days left in Liverpool and she was practically counting the hours. She wasn’t sure she could last that long. The last four days had been filled with her mother's nagging - and both her parents made quite clear she knew they did not approve her lifestyle. Sadly the rest of her family weren’t any better, but today was about her granny so she forced a big smile on her face and opened the door for the first birthday guests. A bunch of „hello’s” and „how are you?’s” were shared and then finally it was time for dinner. „Theresa why are you not wearing the dress I put out for you?” her mother hissed in her posh accent. Only five more days. The dress had screamed “upper-class” and Tessa almost gagged when she saw it lying on her bed. Instead she had found a nude colored Chanel dress in her suitcase, which stopped just above her knees and hugged her curves the right and appropriate way. She then had but her hair in a classic bun, and now she had of course not passed her mother’s inspection - not that she cared much anymore, besides Tessa knew her outfit was stylish. Tessa just ignored her mother and turned around to face her dad and grandmother, who she wished happy birthday. „Thank you honey, and it is lovely to spend some time with you again - you should really visit more. When do you start studying law?” her grandmother asked curiously. Only five more days. „She will be attending law school when summer is over,” her dad added. Tessa looked at him puzzled while shaking her head. Their conversation was suddenly the main attraction, and all of the guests focused on their discussion. Apparently this trip wasn’t just about the birthday - but it was an intervention about her entire life.
„I can’t believe you. When do you get it? I’m never going to law school - I got a job at the biggest fashion magazine in the entire world, and that isn’t even enough for you?” She exploded - all eyes on her. Then the last person she wanted to see on this earth entered the room. „It is enough for me babe,” Mike said and smiled at her, as if nothing ever happened. This was the last drop for Tessa. It felt like a bad dream and she wasn’t staying in it for five more days. Not even five more hours. „What the hell are you doing here?” Tessa spat. „Theresa, language!” Her mother put her in place. „Well your dad called my dad. He said you would be here, and that you wanted to get back together if I was willing to commit to you and our future - so they already agreed to us getting engaged,” Mike spoke, and Tessa just felt empty. „That is never going to happen. I’m not getting engaged to that cheating bastard - and I’m done with you as well. I don’t need you, since you clearly don’t even care for me,” Tessa sat and left the living room.
Every gaze followed her as she ran up the stairs to the guestroom she was staying in. As she sat on her bed, the tears started falling from her eyes. She looked around and felt nothing. These people didn’t love her - they just wanted to control her so they wouldn’t be embarrassed by her actions. She grabbed all of her things and tossed it in her suitcase checking her watch - it was too late to get the driver here from London, it would take almost four hours, and Tessa really wanted to get out of here. Neither Perrie nor any of the guys would be able to pick her up now, so she was considering renting a hotel when she remembered something. Or rather someone. Harry. Harry was staying at his mother’s place in Holmes Chapel which was only a bit more than half an hour from here. She weighed the pros and cons but she knew staying here wasn’t an option, so Tessa took a chance and dialed his number. „Hi Tess, why are you calling?” Harry asked sounding confused. „I’m so sorry to bother you Harry, but I really need a favour,” she said. Tessa didn’t even need to explain any further because Harry heard her shaking voice. „Just text me the address, I’ll be there as soon as possible - promise Tessa,” he said, when she had asked him to pick her up.
„Could you just please stay on the phone with me?” Tessa asked, as Harry pulled out of his mom’s driveway. „Of course love, and don’t worry I’ll be there in 30 minutes,” he replied hurrying. Harry tried to distract Tessa by telling her bad jokes and utterly entertaining stories about the boys when they were touring He succeeded in making her laugh several times and it was music to his ears- especially the story about Niall eating too much before a show and throwing up on stage made her laugh hysterical. When Harry was a couple of minutes away from his destination, he heard somebody knock on the door to Tessa’s room. He smiled at himself by the thought of her facial expression, as she yelled the words: „Stay the hell away from me - I won’t let you change me”. His smile however quickly turned into a frown, when he heard the door being forced open. „Get out of here Mike,” Tessa’s voice sounding ice cold. Harry heard the Mike guy laugh. „I’m sorry about what happened between us - but I really think this could work out. I mean, you are going to get married at some point, why not now?” Harry's hands tightened on the steering wheel and his foot was abruptly heavier against the accelerator. He couldn’t make out Tessa’s answer but he guessed it, when he heard Mike speak again. „You are going to regret this. I’ll make sure of it,” Mike threatened. „Please just let go of me, it’s hurting” Tessa sobbed the moment Harry reached her grandmothers driveway. He didn’t wait for her in the car instead he sprinted through the front yard and entered the house without even knocking.
The door to the living room was opened - and here Tessa’s entire family was gathered. „Where is she? Where is Tessa?” Harry screamed at them. He didn’t care how scared they looked right now. He knew he must have seemed terrifying with his bruised face and all of his tattoos plus by the way he was acting - but he needed to find her. He needed to keep her safe. One of the younger girls looked at him as though she couldn’t believe her own eyes. „You’re Harry Styles,” she stated with her mouth hanging open. She was the only one talking. „Yes I am love, and I’m looking for Tessa - could you please tell me where she is?” He explained trying to sound calmer. „She went upstairs to her room - first door on the right,” another girl then answered. Harry didn’t even stop to thank them he just turned around and ran up the stairs, ignoring the comments about his “rudeness” and “unacceptable appearance”. When he opened the door to Tessa’s room, he was met by a scared girl and a lousy excuse of a man. Mike was holding Tessa by her shoulders and the tears were pouring down her face. Harry noticed her sigh in relief as her gaze fell upon him. „Step away from her, and I might even let you walk out of here,” Harry said feeling numbed by the sight. „Who the fuck are you?” Mike spat not letting go of Tessa’s arms. „Someone who doesn’t give two shits about beating the life out of you,” Harry said taking a step forward. He was of course not going to kill Mike, but right now he felt blinded by hate - and all that was going through his head was to get Tessa out of here. Mike did finally let go of her and she instantly slipped past him and sought safety behind Harry. Tessa slowly watched as Harry observed Mike with eyes full of hate - she was afraid and hoping he wouldn’t start up a fight. She lightly grabbed his arm and her soft touch made him jump. He then understood she was waiting for him. As Harry turned around to leave without making a fuss, with Tessa walking in front of him, Mike started talking again. „I swear to you Theresa, if you walk out of that door with him - then you will regret it”. Before Tessa even got to process an answer Harry turned around and took a swing at him - hitting his nose. „Don’t you dare threaten her,” he said and then they walked away.
„Theresa, where are you going? You are defiantly not leaving with him,” Tessa’s mother spat and pointed towards Harry. „Harry has been there more for me in the short amount of time I’ve known him, than you have ever been. So to answer your question, yes I’m leaving with him - and don’t even bother to contact me again,” Tessa answered cold and turned around to leave. „We have raised you better than this Theresa - better then to associate with people like him,” her dad then condescendingly took over. Tessa had no response to that so she just flipped her entire family off, dragged Harry along with her suitcase and headed for his car. „I’m so sorry about that Harry and about interrupting your days of with the family, really! And thank you so much for coming, I didn’t know who else to call - and I literally wouldn’t have survived in there for five more days. And oh my god I look hideous,” Tessa was babbling but got a hold of herself when she flipped the flap containing a mirror down in the car. She had noticed her tearstained cheeks and her messed up makeup. As Tessa tried to fix what was left of her makeup Harry turned his head from the round and stole a glance at her. Despite of her running mascara Harry was surprised by how cute she looked. Her hair was in a nice messy bun and she was wearing a very pretty dress. „Don’t worry about it Tess, I’m glad you called me. Besides you look cute tonight,” he said trying to put a smile on her face. Her small smile quickly turned into a yawn, which led to another and the soon Tessa struggled to keep her eyes open. „Just try and get some sleep Tess, then we can talk tomorrow. I’ll wake you when we reach Holmes Chapel,” Harry said and gently stroked her hand. That night Tessa fell asleep in a car listening to Harry Styles humming along to the radio, and she had never felt safer. Harry on the other hand was consumed in thoughts. He had no idea Tess’ life was this complicated - and felt sorry for her. He had experienced first-hand how judgmental her family was, and he understood why she needed to get away from there. The one thing that nagged him the most was the conversation between Tess and Mike, he had heard through the phone - about marriage. Perhaps Mike was her boyfriend - Perrie had, after all, told all the boys that Tessa wasn’t single. Harry was defiantly going to ask her about this tomorrow.