Dark Horse

Harry Styles, a well-known flirt, was a popular guy in school. He simply charmed his way through all four years and was never seen without a girl under his arm. Every girl would swoon at the sight of him, all but one. Stella was the new girl with a secret no one knew about. She was beautiful and made every girl envious of her. Every guy wanted to be with her, but she wasn't interested in any of them. It was only when his green eyes met her blue ones. Harry had fallen for her, but she would only push him away and he'd continue to be persistent. Yet, what he didn't know about were the secrets that lie behind closed doors.

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19. Eighteen

I had to escape this madness. I breathed in the warm oceanic air before I opened my eyes. I stared out towards the Atlantic ocean and stood on the balcony in my apartment. A hundred or so feet below me, I could hear the bustling sounds of taxi drivers honking their horns and shouting to the driver in front of them.

It was typical New York traffic. A slight breeze came, gently flowing through my hair. Next door, I could hear my neighbors arguing. It was the same time every single morning. 10am. I walked back into the room, picked up my suitcase, and walked out of the bedroom. I traveled down the hallway and opened the door, then turned towards my apartment. “Goodbye New York. I’m going to miss you.”

. . .

The plane touched down in LAX. Crowds of people surrounded me as I exited the terminal. I stepped out of the airport and waited on the sidewalk after I called for a cab. Los Angeles was just how I left it. Nothing had really changed about the city.

I took the cab to the house and got out of the cab with my suitcase. I stood in front of the house. It was a two-story house, but with a few glass windows. I placed the key into the lock and entered the house.

Inside, the area was massive. It reminded me of Louis’ place, but of course, it was a tad different. The living room was painted with the same stale blue at Harry’s apartment.

A large white couch sat in the middle of the room. The arrangement was very modern. There was a staircase that led to the second floor. It made me look up to see the high ceiling. I looked  down the hallway to see the master bedroom.

I emerged from the hallway and saw two glass doors leading to the backyard. There was a pool and a hot tub from where I stood. I entered the kitchen to see a coffee maker, a stainless steel fridge, and white granite counter tops.

I began to venture off to more areas of the house. After looking through the five rooms upstairs, I decided to go into the master bedroom. I opened the double doors and entered the room.

It was a large room with a king sized bed in the middle of the room. A mahogany dresser was to my left, near the bathroom door. The bedside tables were also made of mahogany with lamps sitting atop them. The bed was elegant.

The sheets were a nice purple color with added stale grey accents. It was a beautiful bed spread. I looked down to see that I was stepping on a hardwood floor. I turned to see a 72” flat screen TV propped on the wall. Also, there were two large glass doors that led out onto the balcony.

I entered the bathroom to see that the countertops in the bathroom were also granite, but black. There was a shower, a bathtub, and two sinks. Emerging from the bathroom, I saw another door where the TV was.

I slid open the door to reveal a massive walk-in closet. Of course it was empty, but it was still marvelous.  It occurred to me how Harry could afford such a beautiful house like this. I walked out of the bedroom and walked down the hallway to check the garage.

Inside the garage were two cars: an Aston Martin and an Audi r8. I recognized the Aston Martin as Harry’s car, but the Audi didn’t seem to belong to anyone I knew. It was a silver color. I exited the garage and walked into the living room.

Also, another 72” flat screen TV was on the wall. On the coffee table sat two pictures: Anne and Gemma. I recognized them as Harry’s mom and sister. For now, I was alone in this house. I walked into the kitchen and saw a note that was on the fridge.

Stella,

Hope you enjoy your new home, and welcome back to LA. I hope you find everything suited to your life style.

H.E. Styles

Life style? Wait a minute. The stale blue walls, the white couch, the picture of Anne and Gemma, and the Aston Martin. Everything that reminded me of Harry.

It confused me as to why he wanted me to remember him, if he was the one who told me to move on. Yet, he was using my own words against me. What were intentions for me to move on to someone else?

How could I possibly move on if I was in love with Harry? Did he think it was going to be easy for me to forget about him?

Three weeks had passed and I was finally settled into my new home. It had taken some time for me to unpack all the boxes, but I managed. Hopefully this would be the last time I'll ever move. "Yes mom, I'll be fine here in LA. Don't worry about me."

My mom hadn't really been checking up on me when I lived in New York. "I love you too." Maybe it was because she lived in another city that was a good drive away, rather than a four-hour flight away.

I hung up the phone and decided to cook myself some lunch. I had only had ingredients to make spaghetti. Great. Another memoir to remind me of Harry. A few times I've watched Harry make spaghetti, but I've never done it on my own.

Surprisingly, it turned out better than I expected. I didn't burn anything. Harry would be proud of me. My heart sank just thinking about him as I gave myself a serving and sat down in the dining room. The spaghetti wasn't half-bad either, but Harry's- Stella, stop thinking about him.

A knock came at the door and I stood up to go answer it. "Liam?" Liam stood before me in a black shirt, jeans, and white sneakers. "Hey Stel." He smiled. I wasn't aware that I had given him my address. "How-"

"Francesca told me." He interrupted. Right, I told Francesca that I was leaving. She was sad that we wouldn't be neighbors anymore, but I promised her that I'd vista her. I nodded and asked if he wanted to come in.

"Sure." I stepped aside as Liam entered and shut the door behind him. "Nice place." He called out as I walked back into the dining room and sat down to resume eating my lunch. "Thanks." Liam sat down in a chair near mine and rested his arms on the table.

"How've you been?" he asked.

I shrugged, twirling the noodles with my fork but didn't pick up any to eat. "Good, I guess."

"You guess? I didn't fly 3000 miles to see my best friend. C'mon, give me a smile." He nudged me a bit and I gave him a half-hearted smile. Of course, he didn't buy it. He reached out and began to tickle me as I dropped my fork onto the plate.

My laughs were in spurts as he continued to tickle me. "Liam! Stop! I give in!" He was triumphant in making me smile. "I win!" I rolled my eyes and lightly punched him in the arm. He rubbed his arm, teasing me that he had been defeated.

"How can you survive here alone?" he asked.

"I'm used to living alone." I said and finally began to eat my food again. "Besides, it's relaxing."

"Let's do something fun." He suggested as I looked at him and raised an eyebrow. Liam Payne is Mr. Fun? "Where's my best friend and what have you done with him?"

"Stel, I'm serious. You look like you've been inside all day and are needing to go outside. You're starting to smell."

"What?!"

"I'm kidding, but really. When was the last time you actually went outside?" I couldn't really answer his question and I knew that he was right. I haven't really gone outside in a while. "Can you help me put the spaghetti away while I go and get dressed?"

"Sure thing." I stood up and half-ran to the end of the hallway, entering the bedroom. I walked into my closet and picked out something to wear. I settled for dark-blue skinny jeans, white tank, and a grey cardigan. I wore a pair of white flats.

I tied my hair in a quick ponytail and grabbed my bag. "Ready to go?" He asked as I nodded. We exited the house and walked out to his car. We got in and he drove down the street. The entire day, Liam and I had spent walking around the mall.

Afterwards, we went out for ice cream and to end the day, we took a walk on the beach. "I had a lot of fun Liam. More fun than I've had in months." I smiled as he walked me up to the front door. He was such a gentleman and sometimes, I wish I had dated him instead.

We stood in front of the door and immediately, there was something about the atmosphere that changed between us. The way we looked into each others eyes, the way my cheeks suddenly flustered, and the way my heart raced against my chest.

I would've never felt this way before in high school, not with Liam. "I'm glad. I had a lot of fun too." He smiled. "It was good seeing you. Good night Stella." I just nodded and opened the door, then went inside.

I closed the door behind me, but I didn't move. I stood, frozen in place. Before my mind could even think about what I was doing, my body suddenly had a mind of its own. I opened the door and still, Liam was walking to his car.

With whatever force of energy that was balled up inside me, my legs pushed me forward and I had caught up to him. I reached out to grab his arm and then pulled him in for a kiss. Liam wasn't reluctant at all as I felt his arms wrap around me.

It was as if he had been waiting, waiting for the right time to kiss me. We pulled away and neither of us had a guilty feeling. The feeling knowing Harry was his best friend and my ex. It seemed that everything that had happened to me was suddenly washed away by the kiss.

Liam reached up and caressed my cheek. "I'll see you around Stel." He smiled, then proceeded to get in his car. I watched him back out of the driveway and disappear down the street. I reached up and touched my hand to my lips. I smiled and looked up at the sky as a shooting star fell.

Right then and there, I made my wish. I walked back inside the house and closed the door, leaning against it as I let out a sigh. Not a moment later, the sound of knocking came at the door.

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