At least a month has passed and winter break was in a few weeks. I have chosen to avoid Harry altogether since that night. Only a few times have our eyes met in school, but we hardly spoke a word to one another.
"What exactly happened between you and Harry?" April asked. The four of us were sitting at our table during lunch. "I ran out, that's all." I didn't want to tell April yet about my past relationship. I assumed that she'd tell Harry and Lauren.
"Admit it, Harry's an attractive guy and you've fallen for him." she smirked. I rolled my eyes as I shook my head. As far as April knows, she had only seen Harry and I dance at homecoming before I ran out. She believed that I was in denial when I stated that I wasn't.
"What are you doing for winter break?" Niall asked me. I shrugged and told him that I planned on sleeping in. I truly had no plans to go anywhere. "Want to come with us to San Francisco?" April asked with a smile.
"I don't think I'll be able to go." If April knew the full story, she would know that San Francisco gave me a lot of bad memories. I'm glad that April understood when I told her I couldn't go. "So, ready for that San Francisco trip?" Lauren approached our table along with Harry.
"Stella won't be able to come with us." April said.
"Why not?" Lauren got on my nerves sometimes and I can't fathom why Harry would date a girl like her. "It's complicated." I replied.
"I doubt your situation actually is Stella."
"I don't have time, alright!?" I stood up, grabbed my bag and stormed out of the cafeteria. My life had changed because of him. Even his name was a burden to me. I couldn't even be with any guy in school because of what happened to me when I was in a relationship with him.
I was traumatized inside and no one understood how much it hurt. If I let myself show any signs of weakness, they'll know; everyone will know, including Harry. I couldn't let myself think of Harry like that. I was afraid that if I fell for Harry, then-
"You stormed out of there pretty fast." Harry sat down on the steps beside me. "You want to talk about it?"
"No, I don't want to talk about it." I spat, a bit too harshly.
"Geez Stel, I'm only trying to help. You can't ignore me for a month and then get mad at me." He stood up and began to walk in the direction of his car. I stood up and followed him. "Harry. Harry, wait!" I called after him as he stopped before he reached the car. He turned and faced me. "What?"
His eyes were cold, just as Zayn's had once been. His entire body became rigid and I stopped a few feet away, scared. I have never seen Harry like this before and I regretted what I had said earlier. I looked down and apologized for my behavior.
Unexpectedly, Harry reached out and touched my face and caressed my cheek. "Hey, it's okay." The tears rolled down my cheeks as he wrapped his arms around me and pulled me into a tight hug. It was comforting almost.
He rubbed my back as the tears fell on to his black Rolling Stones t-shirt. He pulled away and began to dry the tears from my eyes. "We can talk at my apartment." He suggested as I nodded. He opened the passenger door for me as I quietly uttered a thank you and got in his car.
He was driving his sleek black car, which I later found out was an Aston Martin. I wondered how he could afford such an expensive car, but I shook the thought out of my head. "Why didn't you drive the Camaro?" I asked him.
He looked at me after he started the car and said, "I only drive beautiful women in this car." Women? He began to drive down the street and his statement suddenly made me curious. What exactly did he mean by 'women'? Was it that the other girls he dated were only girls?
They were just as beautiful, but I couldn't help but wonder if Harry was warming up to me. I thought about the night of homecoming when it was Harry who came to my door, not Liam or Niall. He parked the car in the lot and we went up to his apartment together.
"You can set your bag near the couch." he said and closed the door behind us. Harry's apartment was similar to mine, but only cleaner. The walls were a stale blue color. I set my bag down near the white couch in the living room and a picture on the shelf caught my eye.
I walked over to the shelf and admired the picture. "Want anything to drink? Coffee? Tea? Water?" He called from the kitchen. "Water is just fine, thank you." I called back. I went to the counter where he began to make himself a pot of tea.
He gave me a glass of water and I took a sip. "Who's the girl in the picture?" I asked and motioned to the shelf behind me. I sat down on the bar stool as he rested his arms on the counter.
"My older sister, Gemma. She visits me a few times a year, just to check up to see how I'm doing. She lives in the UK." he said. I nodded and then he began to tell me countless of stories about her. He described Gemma as having the same brown hair and green eyes, but in the picture, her hair looked more wavy than curly.
I watched how his eyes lit up and a smile was painted across his face when he talked about his sister. I guess they had a good relationship with one another. "She would often tease me about my cooking." He said with a light chuckle, then walked over to check on his pot of tea.
"You cook?" I asked while he poured himself a cup.
He shrugged, "Yeah, not a big deal really."
"I think it is." I muttered and looked down at the glass. "Maybe you should cook for me sometime."
"Me? I'd rather not." He took a sip from his cup and I rolled my eyes. "You won't let me into your apartment."
"Well, maybe you can cook for me when I'm here." I smiled. He told me that he would think about it and I simply nodded. This seemed to be a different side to Harry than what I've seen at school.
I never really noticed that when he smiled, his dimples would show. It was the cutest thing. No Stella, don't let yourself think that way. My subconscious told me and she was right. I remember how I fell for Zayn before everything went downhill.
I had thought about Zayn's gorgeous brown eyes and his smile. It was those exact features that have fooled me. "Who do you stay with in your apartment?" he asked.
"My mom, but when she's working 'late', I have the entire apartment to myself." I answered. My mom was going out on one of her dates tonight since it was friday. "Well, if you're ever feeling lonely, I'm just across the hall." He smirked, then made his way over to the couch.
I sat down with him and placed the glass on the coffee table. "So, talk to me. Why did you storm out of the cafeteria?" I couldn't just tell Harry the full story. I didn't trust him, but he let me into his apartment. "April suggested that I go with them to San Francisco, but I told her that I wouldn't be able to make it." I said.
"It's San Francisco Stella." he said.
"It's more complicated than that Harry. I can't just- The city brings back a lot of bad memories, that's all." I sighed and looked down at my hands.
"I kissed a guy and fell for him. I thought he was the guy he said he was, but turns out that he's a total ass. I just figured that if I kissed you, certain things would happen."
"Not all guys are like that Stel." he said. "Every guy is different."
"How do you know that?"
"Why do you think I haven't tried anything with you? Why do you think I ran after you when you left the gym at homecoming? Why did I come to your apartment that night? Most guys wouldn't do that. Yeah it hurt when you didn't kiss me both times." he said.
"There's more than the whole kissing part Harry." I said.
"Then tell me the full story Stella." he said.
"Why? Why are you so concerned about knowing what my story is?"
"It's because-" I waited for his answer, but no other words came out. I shook my head and stood up as I grabbed my bag. I heard him mutter a few words and turned to face him. "What did you say?"
"You're going to make me say it out loud, aren't you? You don't understand the kind of guy that I am Stella." he said. "I have a reputation to keep. I break girls' hearts and new ones come flocking to me. You are the first girl that's only pushed me away.
"I have never wanted a girl more. No matter how many times you try to run away from me or turn away before we kiss, I'm always going to chase you. When I came to your apartment that night, I just wanted to make sure you were okay. I care about you Stella."
Both of us were just realizing this now. I was blind to see that Harry actually cared for me and he was blind of the fact that he did care. I just couldn't believe the words that had come out of his mouth. I shook my head and continued to utter the words 'no' and 'not true'.
I turned and opened the door to his apartment, then closed the door on the way out. I entered my apartment and closed the door behind me, then leaned against it. For a split second, I sensed that he was at the door. I could imagine his hand reaching up to knock, but then moved away as I heard the door close from across the hall.
Tears began to form and they streamed down my cheeks as I dropped my bag to the ground. I slid down to the floor and cried. As much as I wanted to be in denial, I was helplessly falling for Harry Styles.