A week’s gone by since Harry and I’s forced bonding time together, and I suppose it worked. Practically every night since I’d gotten high and drunk with his friends, I’ve gone with him to go hang out with them… sans the weed and alcohol. I don’t think Harry would ever admit it, but I think he is enjoying our newfound friendship as much as I am. It’s refreshing not to have to argue with him or be torn down by his relentless bad attitude.
School’s also been great. My classes aren’t too challenging, and Brynn has become someone I can count on. Even though we have gotten pretty close with each other after a few more shopping sprees and hang outs over the weekend, I still haven’t gotten comfortable enough to tell her my secrets. I feel bad, like I’m keeping something from her, but it’s too hard to talk about it still… I’m not ready to open up those wounds that are still healing. Especially this week.
Mom’s birthday is tomorrow, and it’s putting me in a terrible mood. I was hoping I could get through it, and only celebrate her life rather than mourn her death somehow, but it only brings up all of the wonderful memories we had, and how much I really miss her… how much I need her.
I kept myself together at school, staying quiet in class and skipping out on lunch to spend some alone time in the library, but once I got home and saw the picture of me and Mom on my desk, I finally lost it.
I know it’s normal to miss her, and to feel like this; I mean, she was my mother for God’s sake. It’s just the fact that it feels like things will never get better. Will I ever stop feeling like this? Will I ever be able to look at her picture without balling my eyes out? She should be here right now. She was too young, and I need her. Why did God take the only thing I had from me? What is he making me pay for?
I lay my pathetic ass on my bed and burry my face in the pillows. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’ve tried everything, therapy, yoga, writing in a journal, but the only thing I need is my friends back home who know what I’m going through.
“Chloe, I’m going over to Liam's house and I told Perrie I’d ask you to come. You doing anything tonight?” Harry pulls me from my depressing thoughts.
Fuck, just what I need. Thankfully he didn’t open the door to see me crying like a baby in here. He wouldn’t understand, and I’m sure I’d get a mouthful about how pathetic I am.
I try my best to control my voice when I respond so he won’t detect my current condition. “I have a lot to do, maybe tomorrow.” I lie. If I’m like this today, I wonder how miserable I’ll be tomorrow—her actual birthday.
“Are you sure? We can stop at Menchie’s on the wayyyyyy…” He drags out, trying to convince me to come.
“Harry, not tonight.” I snap, but my voice betrays me and breaks at the end.
I hoped he wouldn’t pick up on it and just accept it, but I can tell he’s still standing outside my door. It feels like hours rather than seconds as I wait for him to either say something or walk away.
“Chloe?” He says sounding concerned, like he could sense the sadness in my voice.
“I’ll talk to you later.” I try to dismiss him, but again, I don’t hear him walking away. Just go, Styles!
“Are you okay?”
I sigh and a new tear falls down my cheek. I wish I could confide in someone, and the fact that Harry is outside my door giving me the chance to, hurts me even further. I know I can’t. He won’t understand, and I don’t need his pity. I don’t want it.
“Yeah, I just have a lot to do, like I said.” Get it together, Chloe.
“Okay…” He’s not convinced. “Can I come in?”
“Not right now, I’m um, I’m getting changed.” Fuck! What is my deal!
“I’m fine!” I yell and for some reason it forces more tears to fall. I’m just sick of this all—sick of saying I’m fine when I’m the farthest from it. Pretending to be okay in front of everyone.
I bury my face in my hands and let the sobs take over. I can’t keep it in anymore. I don’t have the power to anymore.
The next thing I know, Harry’s sitting next to me on my bed, his hands gripping each of my wrists trying to pull them away from my face.
“Chloe, what’s going on?” He asks quietly, succeeding in removing my hands from my face. I’m sure my mascara is running down my cheeks along with the tears, but at this point I don’t care. I don’t care about anything really—I feel numb to it all.
I shake my head and let him hold my hands in his lap even though I really need to wipe my eyes. “It’s just been a long day.” At least I’m not lying.
“Do you… Did you want to talk about it?” He asks. I shake my head again and pull my hands from his to wipe my tear-stained cheek.
“I’m okay, really. I’m just overreacting… being a girl, that’s all.”
He takes my chin with his hand so I’m looking at him, but I can’t look into those sparkling green eyes that I know are waiting for me.
“Chloe, somethings obviously going on. You can talk to me…”
“It’s nothing really Harry, I’m just feeling a little homesick. Like I said, I’m just overreacting.”
Dammit. Half of me just wants to dump all of my problems on him, but the other half knows I can’t. We’re not there yet in our friendship, and I moved her with the mindset that I would just skirt by this year without any interruptions. I don’t want to dump my emotional baggage on people who I will essentially be leaving when I go back to Arizona the second I graduate and can live on my own.
“Okay,” He sighs, accepting my answer, but I know he can see there’s something else going on. “Well I think sitting in here isn’t going to help.”
“I just need some alone time.”
“I disagree. I think you need a distraction. Let’s go to Liam’s. Get your mind off things for awhile.” Harry gets off the bed and holds his hand out to me.
“I really don’t want to, Harry.” I tell him honestly and pull a tissue from the box on my side table to wipe my nose.
“Well then let’s go do something else. We can go to a movie… the beach… I’m still down for Menchies?”
“Harry, I really appreciate it, but—“
“Okay, so FroYo?” He smiles. “Come on, Chlo, trust me on this one.”
God, those damn dimples…
“Okay,” I sigh and try to hide my smile. I fail miserably.
“Good choice. I’ll meet you downstairs in ten?”
“Okay.” I nod and get up from my bed to fix my makeup.
“And Chloe—“ He stops when he gets to the door. “Whatever it is, it’ll be okay, all right? I know we’re not really siblings, but I’m here for you if you need me. Always just across the hall, okay?”
His confession alone triggers more tears, but this time, it’s not of sadness, rather happiness. I don’t think he understands how much I needed, no wanted, to hear that.
I nod, not being able to trust my voice, and head toward my bathroom.
The distraction Harry offered was just what I needed, and when we got back home, I really did feel much better. It keeps me up at night wondering what the hell has changed to make Harry someone I can actually confide in, but nonetheless, it’s been amazing actually getting along with him.
I was surprised, yet relieved, when he didn’t press me for any more reasons for my behavior while we ate our frozen yogurt. Harry did an excellent job with distracting me by asking me about school, Brynn and her friends, if I like California… He avoided all questions about my life back in Phoenix, probably thinking it would make me feel more homesick, but after we sat there for an hour, I opened up willingly and told him a little about it anyway. It surprisingly helped to reminisce. Regardless, Harry did a damn good job raising my spirits.
When we got back home around eight, Dad and Anne were sitting in the living room watching some singing competition show on the TV.
“Hey kids, you guys doing anything else tonight?” Dad asked when he noticed us come in.
“I'm not,” I answer.
“Not sure yet.” Harry shrugs. I’m surprised he doesn’t snap like his usual brooding self, but then again, I’m not. He’s also turned a leaf with his mom and my dad in the last week. He’s still rude, but it’s definitely turned down a notch.
“Well David and I were thinking we could all go out for dinner and maybe go bowling after? I mean since it’s Friday and you don’t have school tomorrow…” Anne adds happily.
“Well that sounds thrilling, but I’d rather rip my eyeballs out.” Harry says sarcastically. Well, Rude Harry is back.
“Oh come on, it’ll be fun! We can all bond together!” She smiles and claps her hands together.
I look up at Harry who looks like he wants to punch himself in the face, and I strike up a plan.
“Oh I totally forgot! Me and Harry actually do have plans,” I put on my best disappointed face for Anne and look up at Harry. “Jason’s party is tonight, remember?”
Brynn had invited me to her boyfriend’s party tonight, but I rejected her offer because I just wasn’t in the mood for a party. Well, I still am not in the mood, but I owe Harry for ditching his friends to hang out with me, and this is my best excuse to get out of family bowling night.
“Oh right. Damn, we’ll have to do bowling another night.” Harry feigns disappointment as well.
Anne sighs, and I feel a little guilty, but I don’t really want to go bowling either. “Well that sounds like more fun anyway. I’m glad you two are getting along.” She smiles. “We can just do it next weekend or something. Just make sure to be home by curfew!”
“Of course,” I smile at her. “well, we should get ready.”
She gets up to hug us both before we head upstairs. I start for my room before Harry grabs my elbow once we get to the hallway.
“Uh, what are you doing?”
He let’s go of my arm. “You didn’t have to do that.”
“Yes, I did. I owe you one. Tonight was just what I needed.. so thank you.”
“It’s not a problem.” He shrugs. “You don’t owe me anything.”
“Well maybe I did it because I didn’t want to go bowling either.” I smile.
“All right.” He smiles back. “Thanks though. I don’t think I could handle my mum and bowling at the same time.”
“Sure. And you don’t have to go with me to the party… I just couldn’t think of anything else.”
“No, I’ll check it out.” He shrugs. “If you want me to come...”
I laugh at the thought of him actually considering my feelings. If anything, he wouldn’t want to go with me. “Well then we have plan! Let’s leave at nine.”
Maybe getting a little drunk and some loud music will offer me even more of a distraction.