The next morning, I awoke with the bright sun that had fallen on the bed. I looked to see that Harry was in bed beside me. It was as if nothing had changed between us. I would wake up next to him and there he would be, asleep.
I began to trace one of the smaller tattoos on his left arm. “Mmm…” I heard a sound come from Harry. I stopped and he opened his eyes, but still looked like he was half-asleep.
“Don’t stop.” He smiled and I continued to trace the same tattoo. He closed his eyes again, still with a smile on his face.
Yet, things did change between us. Five years have passed since our senior year and now we were older. “Harry?” I asked quiet as he opened his eyes again and looked at me. His eyes were now a much brighter green as the sunlight reflected off of them.
“What is it?” He asked. It was Sunday morning, the week of prom. I had spent the evening at Harry’s apartment and just woke up next to him. I turned away and gently bit my lip for a moment.
I wasn’t really sure how to tell him that I was in love with him. I might as well just wait until the right time to tell him. “Nothing.” I shook my head and looked into his green eyes.
His eyes searched mine for answers, and it was as if he was trying to read my mind. “I’m going to make breakfast.” He kissed my lips, then got out of bed and threw on a pair of boxers.
“Never mind.” I shook my head and turned away from him. I was now facing the window and gently bit my lip. I wanted to tell him about Zayn, but I figured that it would be overwhelming.
I felt the weight of the bed shift. I waited a minute or two to see that Harry had gone into the bathroom. I got out of bed and put on my underwear, then threw on one of his shirts. I pulled on a pair of pants and stuffed my shirt into my bag.
I walked down the hallway and entered the kitchen to make us a pot of coffee. Harry entered the kitchen, wearing only a pair of pants. “Is that my shirt?” He asked, opening the fridge and pulled out the carton of eggs.
“I was too lazy to wear mine.” I told him and sat on the counter as I waited for the coffee to brew. He placed the carton on the counter and took out a few eggs, then cracked them into a bowl. “Keep it.” He said, then began to scramble the eggs. “It suits you.”
I smiled and played with the thread hanging from the shirt. I poured us both a cup of coffee once Harry had finished scrambling the eggs in the pan. He set the cooked eggs on two plates.
We both sat down on the barstools to eat our eggs and drink coffee. “Is everything alright?” He asked while we ate our food. I remembered the last time I was alone in the same room as Harry, especially the times when we’d be at his apartment.
“Stella, I understand that it’s hard to forget what happened, but it’s in the past.”
“You’re going to tell me to forget about the past. I can let it go, but it’s scarred me for the rest of my life. I just- It feels like there is no way to heal from what happened.” It was then I simply lost it.
I told him everything, almost everything. I told him about my purpose for moving here and running into Zayn at the club when I was with my friend. I told him about some of the things Zayn and I had done.
I still couldn’t manage to tell him exactly how I felt about him. Afterwards, nothing was said between us. It was then I decided that I was going to leave him to his thoughts.
“You slept with him?” Harry asked as soon as I reached the door. Out of all the things I had told him, that one detail stood out to him?
“It’s not a big deal Harry.” I told him.
“It is a big deal Stella. You slept with the guy who treated you like shit.”
“I slept with you, didn’t I?” That statement hit him hard as I turned and walked out of the door. I slammed it behind me and walked into the elevator, then stepped it. Harry didn’t follow me out.
As soon as the doors closed, I leaned against the back walk and cried. Everything between Harry and I seemed to result in one of us or both of us getting hurt. There was absolutely no way either of us could get along.
All I could think about was the past, but if I should forget about the past, I might as well do as he says.
. . .
It was the day of Louis and Eleanor’s wedding. I apologized to them for not being able to make it to the actual ceremony, but they were glad that I made it to the reception. “I didn’t think you’d actually make it to the reception Stel.” Louis smiled as he greeted me with a hug.
I hugged him back with a smile and said, “I wouldn’t miss my friend’s wedding for the world.” As soon as we pulled away, I admired how great Louis looked in a tuxedo. Zayn had also been invited to the wedding and had brought Perrie along. Zayn was one of the groomsmen.
“Hey you.” Zayn approached me with a smile and gave me a hug. I hugged him back and pulled away. Zayn’s smile was now more genuine and his eyes were much kinder. Perrie had brought back the old Zayn that I once loved.
“Stella!” Perrie gave me a tight hug and I let out a chuckle. She and I had become best friends over the course of a year. “Hey Perrie.” We pulled away from our hug and caught up on how their relationship was going.
While everyone mingled with one another, I sat outside in one of the chairs in the lobby outside the ballroom. It had been three months since the last Harry and I spoke. It was similar to high school.
We’d exchange quick glances, but we’d never speak a word. Sometimes we would ignore each other. Harry wasn’t at the wedding and that bothered Louis.
A few times in the last hour, Louis would walk out of the ballroom to call Harry. He sounded more angry than upset. He’d hang up the phone, take a deep breath, and head back inside. This time, he was about to go back inside when he noticed me.
“What are you doing out here?” he asked.
I shrugged, “I needed a breather.”
He sat down in another chair beside me. “Sounds like a story that needs to be told.” he said. With no hesitation, I told Louis everything. Louis, like a few of the friends I had, became one of the people I trusted.
"When the time is right, you'll know when to tell him." I couldn't help but think that Louis was right. Only time will tell on whether or not I should explain to Harry how I really feel about him. I was just fed up with his jealous tendencies.
I hadn't fallen for Zayn, even though I slept with him for that one night. I hadn't gone around to dating Liam because he was my best friend and yet, I couldn't be with him if I was in love with someone else.
It would've been impossible for me to move on from Harry. It was then I came to a realization that I was in love with Harry. After all this time since high school, I had never been over him. "I have to go." I told Louis, getting up from my seat.
I walked out of the hotel and called for a cab, then got in. I knew on some Saturday nights, Harry worked late at the office. I decided to first locate him there, if not, then I'd go to his apartment. I paid the cab driver as much as it would take me to get a ride from the hotel to the company to Harry's apartment.
I entered the building, then rode the elevator to the twenty-third floor. I was getting impatient and the doors opened, then exited out into the lobby. I walked down the hallway and made a sharp left, accidentally running into someone.
I looked up and was met face to face with a pair of blue eyes. "Stella?" It was my boss, Lucas. He was just about to leave the building. "Do you know where Harry is?" I asked him. Every minute ticked by when there was silence between us.
"I thought he was at Louis' wedding." he said. I told him that he wasn't at the wedding and figured that he would be here at the office. "Check at his apartment, maybe." He suggested and I nodded, then left as quickly as I had arrived.
Once again, I got into the cab and told the driver the address to Harry's apartment. He lived in Manhattan and the drive there was tedious. Stupid New York traffic. The driver parked in front of the building and I thanked him before getting out.
He drove away and I entered the lobby, then pressed the elevator button. The door opened and I stepped in. The ride to the fifteenth floor was just as long as the ride to the twenty-third floor at the company.
1517. 1518. 1519. 15- I arrived in front of Harry's door and knocked. After two minutes, there wasn't an answer. I checked the door knob and jiggled the handle until the door opened. Unlocked? I entered the empty apartment and turned on a few of the lights.
"Harry?" I called out into the empty room. I waited a few seconds, but there was no answer. I called out his name again, this time a bit louder. Again, no answer. The pictures on the counter were gone. All that was left was a key and a note written to me.
I'm sorry to have caused you a lot of pain. You don't deserve me. You should be with someone else, someone like Liam. I've made a lot of mistakes in my life and neither of those mistakes I regret, but there's one that I do regret and that is losing you.
I'm sorry I couldn't make it to Louis' wedding. Will you apologize to him for me? I'm sure he'll understand. Yeah, he'll be angry at me because he was hoping for his Best Man to be there. I just couldn't find the strength to go.
I don't want him to be worried about me. I don't want anyone to be worried about me. Everyone seemed so happy, and I don't want to ruin that. I wanted you to have a great time at the wedding, without me.
In general, I want you to be happy and if it's not with me, I'm glad. I'm entrusting you with this key. On the back of this note is an address. I know you won't go right away, but I know in time you will.
I love you Stella, and don't you forget that. But promise me that you'll forget about me, promise me you'll move onto another guy, promise me that he'll be the one you'll fall in love with and marry. Promise me that and I'll be happy.
H. E. Styles
"How can you be so stupid Harry!?" There were tears in my eyes as I balled my hands up into fists, crumpling the note. "You can't just leave me like this." I stormed into the bedroom and there I saw it, sitting on the beside table.
"C'mon you two, smile for the camera." It was graduation. My mom had managed to get Harry and I to be in the same room as each other. I didn't want to be with Harry right now. "Mom, is this necessary?" I asked her.
"Yes, now smile." My mom pressed the button before we could even get ready, but magically, the picture came out flawless.
I picked up the frame and looked at the picture in my hand. We were so happy back then, even if we had broken up and were going our separate ways. It reminded me of how the two of us can be happy, no matter how dire the situation was.
I looked at the crumpled paper in my hands and looked to see what the address was.
1450 Madison Ave
Los Angeles, California