"When she was just a girl, she expected the world, but it flew away from her reach, and the bullets catch in her teeth."
I had been awaken nearly ten minutes ago to the angelic singing from downstairs. Instead of getting up and following the voice, I decided to stay a while and just listen as he sang. I had never really heard Harry sing before. He had mentioned a while ago that he was in a band, and now I see why. His voice was deep and calming almost.
"And dreamed of para- para- paradise, para- para- paradise, para- para- paradise, whoa-oh-oh oh-oooh oh-oh-oh."
I had no recollection of what the song he was singing was but I knew I would grow to enjoy it. After listening to a few more verses I decided to get up. After throwing the covers off of me, I slipped my legs over the edge of the bed and stood up. The early february air was still cold so I grabbed my Cambridge sweatshirt off the chair and slipped it over my head. I attempted to inhale any last scent of my brother but all I smelled was the strong smell of laundry detergent. I frowned a little but continued to walk towards the bedroom door. My feet guided me along the slick wooden floor towards the stairs and Harry's singing only became louder. He was singing a new song now. When I finally reached the bottom of the stairs, I peaked into the kitchen and a quiet laugh escaped my lips. As Harry sang along, he used the spatula in his hand as a guitar.
"One, 21 Guns, lay down your arms, give up the fight. One, 21 Guns, throw up your arms into the sky, you and I ..." He sang as he strummed his spatula guitar.
After the verse ended, he continued to sing but his guitar moved into the pan in front of him, flipping what looked like eggs. I could only stand in the doorway and smile.
"When you're at the end of the road, and you lost all sense of control, And your thoughts have taken their toll, when your mind breaks the spirit of your soul, your faith walks on broken glass and the hangover doesn't pass, nothing's ever built to last, you're in ruins." Harry sang passionately.
The spatula again came out of the pan and he began strumming it again as he repeated the chorus. I couldn't contain my laughs any longer. The moment the laughs escaped my mouth Harry stopped and spun towards me. His cheeks resembled the color of tomatoes and he looked at me sheepishly.
"Bec." He spoke, slightly startled. "I uh- I didn't know you were standing there..."
"Don't be embarrassed. You're quite good at spatula guitar." I chuckled.
A grin spread across Harry's face. "Well, I am a man of many talents."
I walked over to him and glanced down at the eggs in the pan that had begun to turn a shade of brown.
"Well making eggs isn't one of them, that's for sure." I teased.
"I'll have you know, that my eggs are perfectly fine!" He protested.
I raised my eyebrows at him. "Is that why they're burnt?"
He stumbled with his words. "Um yeah. I was meaning to burn them."
I pulled the pan off the stove and grabbed a plate from the cabinet. After dishing the eggs out onto the plate, I handed it to Harry and he looked down at them disgustingly.
"If you meant to burn them, then you'll have no problem eating them." I smiled.
He tilted his head back and groaned. "You're torturing me."
"Yes I am." I snickered.
He looked down at the plate. "Okay, I admit it, I suck at making eggs but I wanted to make you breakfast this morning."
I could only smile at him. "Do you want me to make you eggs?"
He shook his head. "I told myself I'd make you breakfast and I'm determined to get this right."
"That's sweet of you." I commented.
He shrugged and turned to the cabinets and began shuffling through the items. As he continued to look for a suitable breakfast item, I wandered over to the small speakers on the counter where his phone was mounted. I looked at the screen and furrowed my eyebrows.
"Death Cab For Cutie?" I chuckled questionably.
Harry turned his attention away from the cabinets and smiled. "You like them?"
I shrugged and sat down at the counter. "I've never heard of them."
Harry's jaw dropped. "You're joking."
I shook my head. "Another thing I wasn't allowed. Music like this."
Harry's eyes were wide. "Well at least tell me you know who Coldplay is."
I shook my head again. "Nope."
"Oasis?" He questioned.
"No." I replied.
He covered his face with his hands. "Green Day?"
I laughed. "Harry, I have no idea who these people or these bands are. The only music I listened to was classical and opera and stuff like that."
Harry stared at me. "You're kidding right?"
"No, Harry. I'm not." I told him.
Harry shook his head. "If I ever meet your parents, I may just have a word with them. Honestly Bec, you haven't lived until you've heard Time of Your Life or You and Me. God, You and Me is an incredible song, if you don't end up liking it I'm not sure how we'll be able to get on." He told me.
I looked at him, the way he talked about music. He was passionate about it. I smiled a little.
"Well let's hear it then." I told him.
Harry walked around the counter and over to his phone and he scrolled through various songs before tapping the screen. Moments later, the first beats of the song began to play. As soon as the son began to play, a huge grin spread across his face. He watched me as I listened to it.
"'Cause it's you and me and all of the people with nothing to do, nothing to lose, and it's you and me and all of the people, and I don't know why I can't keep my eyes off of you."
Just the look on his face said it all. It were as if Music weren't just lyrics to him, it was like a Religion to him. It was clear to me before that he enjoyed music, seeing as he was in a band but now it was clear to me that music was something special to him.
Halfway through the song, Harry began to sing along to the lyrics and I let out a laugh. When the song came to en end, he looked at me hopefully.
"So?" He questioned.
A smile spread across my lips. "I liked it."
Harry grinned wider. "Good. I mean, how can you not. Lifehouse is genius."
"You like music." I spoke knowingly.
Harry nodded. "I do. I grew up playing my mum's records and I would always sing along to them. I guess that's kind of where I learned to sing. I would just sit there next to the record player in the living room and I'd just listen to the records over and over and I'd sing along to them. I loved music so much when I was growing up."
"Is that why you're in a band?" I asked.
He nodded. "Yeah, although I never pictured myself in the kind of band I'm in now. In high school is was in this band called White Eskimo and we were pretty damn sick. Now I'm in a boyband."
"So you've told me. A cool boyband." I smiled.
"Very cool." He grinned.
"So this band you're in now, are the other members the same people as in your school band?" I asked.
"No, in high school it was just my three mates and I. Now I'm with four other lads and they're pretty cool guys." He told me.
"What're their names?" I questioned.
"Louis, Liam, Niall and Zayn. They're all from different parts of England except Niall. He's from Dublin." Harry informed me.
"How long have you been in a band?" I asked.
"So many questions." Harry grinned.
I raised my eyebrows. "Seems to me that you enjoy talking about this."
"I do." He smiled. "Question all you want."
"Well what's your bands name?" I asked.
He looked at me nervously. "Um, One Direction."
I shrugged. "I could lie and say I've heard of you but I haven't."
He looked a little relieved. "No, it's okay."
"Do you have any of your songs on your phone?" I asked him.
He shook his head. "Nah. I find it weird to listen to my own music."
"Well I'm sure you're good. I mean, I listened to you sing for quite a while this morning and your voice is angelic." I told him.
A grin spread across his face. "Angelic huh?"
I blushed a little. "You have a nice voice Harry."
"Well what about you? Do you have any special talents?" He asked.
I shrugged. "I can play the Piano quite well, as well as the Violin and flute and my brother taught me a little on the Guitar. I am also pretty good at tennis, croquet, horseback riding, swimming and golf."
Harry sat back in his chair and smiled. "So sophisticated."
I nodded slowly. "Quite."
"So that's what your childhood was like? You never played in the mud or chased your friends around or kicked a football around. And you never watched movies..." He spoke.
I sighed and propped my head up on my arm. "By the age of ten I was playing Mozart, Bach and Beethoven on the Piano. At eight I was reading at a college reading level. And by the time I was eleven I has mastered tennis, croquet and all those sports I mentioned."
Harry shook his head. "I honestly don't understand that. It's like you were raised like you were royalty."
When I said nothing, Harry looked at me curiously.
"Bec?" He asked.
"Have you ever built a snowman?" Harry questioned.
I looked at him and shook my head. His jaw dropped slightly and moments later he was out of his seat.
"Stay right there." He told me.
He exited the room and I could hear his footsteps on the stairs. The music from his phone was still playing quietly and I looked down at it. It was currently playing Wonderwall by Oasis. I tapped on the music app and began scrolling down to the bottom. It took me a moment to remember the name of the song but I soon found it. It was a good song, a really good song actually.
As the voices of Lifehouse filled my ears as I listened to You and Me once again, I thought about Harry's childhood. My childhood was kept and sophisticated but there would be times when I'd be in the back of the car and I'd look out the window as we passed a park and I'd see kids playing in the dirt, laughing and smiling. I had always wished that I could do that, just once. But it'd always be too far away to even begin to grasp it.
Moments later, Harry entered the kitchen again with a pile of clothes and two pairs of shoes in his hands. He handed me a white coat with a fur hood and a thick pair of jeans and my uggs. I narrowed my eyes at him.
"Please Bec, I know you're against wearing the clothes I bought you but I really want to show you what it's really like to have fun." He pleaded.
I looked at him questionably for a few minutes while he pleaded with me with his eyes. Finally, I hesitantly took the coat and pants out of his arms.
"Fine. But this is the one time." I told him.
He looked at me. “Rebecca, please just put the clothes on so you don’t freeze.”
I looked at him a moment more before walking out of the room. I walked down the hall to the small bathroom and opened the door. Once inside, I looked down at the clothes in my hand and frowned. Slowly, I pulled my shorts and sweatshirt off and pulled the jeans up my legs. I grabbed the long-sleeved shirt that was also part of the outfit and pulled it over my head. My eyes found the mirror and I looked at the clothes that I now wore. As I slowly pulled the jacket over my shoulders, I could feel the warmth shoot through my body. I zipped up the jacket and grabbed the socks that were also part of the outfit and pulled them on my feet. When I finally had my uggs on my feet I looked back at the mirror. The jacket and the clothes were nice, I’d admit only that. It felt odd walking out of the bathroom with new clothes on my body. It almost felt foreign. After quickly putting my sweatshirt and shorts in the washing machine, I made my way into the kitchen where harry sat in a black coat, black jeans and brown boots on his feet. A black beanie covered his hair. He smiled when he saw me.
“So I got your size right, good.” Harry smiled.
He held up a white beanie and gloves in his hand and handed it to me. Without a word, I took it from him and pulled the beanie over my hair and the gloves onto my hands.
“Rebecca Madison,” Harry grinned. “are you ready to build a snowman?”
I couldn’t help but laugh at his tone. He almost sounded like a little boy. I nodded my head happily.
“I am.” I replied.
Harry stood up and I followed him through the house towards the back door. I had never ventured to the back before but as soon as we entered the backyard, I couldn’t help but smile. The backyard was huge with a ring of trees marking the border. Although snow covered the entire yard, I could see a pool and a firepit as well as an entire field of what I assumed to be grass.
“I’m still not convinced that only you live here.” I gaped.
Harry smiled. “I don’t. You live here too.”
A small smile spread across my lips. A soft snowfall had begun and I looked up at the sky. After a while I heard Harry chuckle a little. I looked at him, my eyebrows raised.
“Are you laughing at me?” I asked.
“I just-” He paused as if he were cautioning his words. “You look beautiful.”
I didn’t know if it was just my body temperature rising because of the cold air but I could feel my cheeks begin warm up. Harry could only smile.
“Wanna see something?” He asked.
I nodded. “Okay.”
“Close your eyes.” Harry told me.
I looked at him suspiciously and he laughed.
“Bec, please just close your eyes.” He chuckled.
I looked at him with caution one more time before my eyes closed. I could hear minimal shuffling. Moments later I felt a cold ball of snow hit my back and my eyes shot open.
“Harry!” I squealed.
Harry was already running across the snow coated lawn with two snowballs already in his hands. I bent down and scooped some snow into my hands and balled it up, chasing after him. Harry turned and threw one snowball towards me but missed my head by an inch. I raised my arm and flung the snowball at him, hitting him straight in the ass. He stopped and turned around.
“Excuse me Ms. Madison, but can we keep this PG rated?” Harry grinned.
I burst out laughing and grabbed another handful of snow.
“You asked for it.” I told him.
In one swift movement, his arm raised and he flung the other snowball at me and it hit my knee.Without much thought, I thre the snowball in my hand at him and it hit his thigh.
“And for the record, where’s the fun in PG?” I smirked.
A wide grin spread across Harry’s face and he laughed. For the next few minutes, he and I raced around his winter wonderland of a yard, flinging snowballs at each other. We only stopped when we were both out of breath and the snow had begun to fall harder. Harry made his way over to me, trudging through the snow.
“I believe I won that.” I told him.
His eyebrows raised. “Did you?”
I nodded. “I did. I think that ass shot should be double points.”
Harry looked down at me and smiled. He had been doing a lot of that today, smiling. No words left his lips, his eyes just stared into mine. We said nothing. Harry licked his lips and returned back to his smile.
“What?” I chuckled softly.
He looked down. “Nothing.”
I stepped closer to him and lifted his head. “Tell me.”
“You’re going to hate me.” He muttered.
“Harry, you’d have to say something absolutely revolting to make me hate you and even then, I probably wouldn’t.” I promised him.
His cheeks heated up a little and he looked me in the eyes.
“I just-” He muttered.
“Tell me.” I told him again.
He took a deep breath. “I really just wish I could kiss you right now.”
A deep blush fell across my cheeks and I sucked in my breath.
“Oh.” Was all I could say.
Harry put his head in his hands and groaned. “See? Now you hate me.”
“No, no. It’s not that. I’m just- I’m a little surprised.” I told him.
“I don’t know what came over me. It was stupid of me to say that.” He mumbled, looking at his feet.
I shook my head. “No um, I’m glad you did.”
Harry looked at me. “Why? You don’t even like me.”
I licked my lips nervously. “Well- it’s better to put how you feel out there.”
Harry looked at me and shook his head. “You confuse me.”
I sighed and shoved my hands into the pockets of my jacket.
“You said we’d build a snowman so let’s do that.” I suggested.
He nodded his head slowly and we began walking closer to the house. Once we were at a good distance, I bent down and began rolling snow into a ball. It wasn’t long before we were stacking one ball of snow on top of the other until we had three layers. Harry bent down and dug through the thick snow until he found some pebbles. He handed some to me and we created the eyes and the mouth. I walked over and grabbed two branches from under a nearby tree and stuck them on either side. Harry and I looked at our masterpiece quizically.
“Aren’t snowmen supposed to have carrot noses or something?” I asked.
Harry nodded. “I don’t have any carrots though.”
I spotted a thin pinecone on the ground and picked it up and stuck it where the nose would be. Harry smiled and pulled his hat off his head and put it on the snowman.
“But now your head is cold!” I protested.
He shrugged. “I can handle it.”
I shook my head and pulled the hat off my head and pulled my hood up. I set the hat on top of Harry’s head and he raised his eyebrows.
“Excuse me, now your head will be cold and I can’t have that.” He told me.
“I have a hood, you don’t.” I reminded him.
“But your head still might be cold.” He frowned.
I pulled the hood further over my head. “No, it’s pretty cozy in here.”
He looked at me, still unsure.
“Harry!” I laughed. “Just put the hat on or take the hat off the snowman!”
Harry protested for a moment more before slipping my hat over his head. The snowfall was light now and for a while, the two of us just stood there in the snow. He was again looking at me but I said nothing. We remained in silence for a few more minutes, letting the only sound to fill our ears be the soft brushing of the tree branches and the sweeps of wind.
“Can I ask you something?” Harry questioned.
He hesitated, shoving his hands into the pockets of his coat. “Um,-” He paused. “Why -why are you so afraid to like someone?”
I froze and looked at him. “What do you mean?”
“Like am I doing something wrong? Is that why you don’t like me?” Harry asked.
I sighed and shook my head. “No, no it’s not that. I just- I’ve kind of given up on love. When I was younger I’d always read about epic love stories and then when I grew up, I had to find that love was anything but epic.”
“Bec, you should never give up on love.” Harry frowned.
“Why? Harry, you don’t know what I’ve been through. I used to think like you, I used to be so in love with love and then I finally experienced it and it collapsed on my like an avalanche.” I told him.
He and I had begun walking towards the house and I could see the slight frown on his lips.
“You just haven’t found the right person-”
“Look, Harry, I understand that you like me. I get it. But liking me is like walking onto a rickety bridge. Sooner or later, it’s going to collapse and you don’t want to be on it when it happens.” I told him.
And I left him standing there.