“I can’t handle this anymore!” I screamed over the thousands of girls who were also screaming. I was losing my mind, going crazy sitting here in my despair with all of this chaos and disaster. I watched as Laura squinted her eyes at me and, presumably, replied. I pointed to my ears, indicating that I could not hear her. She walked closer and yelled at the top of her lungs, “WHAT?”
“I need to go somewhere!” I replied, again screaming.
She nodded. I pointed back towards Target and she nodded again.
“Want me to come with you?” she asked.
I shook my head. As much as I adored my best friend, I wanted to be alone right now. Besides, I had something devious and not at all healthy planned and I didn’t want her to be around if, or rather when, I followed through with it.
A few moments later I found myself in the Target parking lot. It was a whole different world over here, only a ¼ mile away from the venue. There was no screaming, no crying, no chanting, nothing. It was quiet and absolutely peaceful. I reveled in the tranquility of the parking lot which, to my surprise, was actually quite full. Being over at the venue had apparently caused me to jump to an alternate universe where everyone only cared about One Direction and had nothing else to do on a Saturday afternoon than stand outside a venue and wait for them. I giggled at myself and walked into the store. I was on a mission; target: to find something that would ease my pain for the next few hours. I knew where I was heading, but I took my time going there. There really was no rush; I was in no hurry to head back into the mania from which I had just emerged. Besides, I need to purchase other things too in order to make this look less conspicuous. I’m sure no one would question me; I mean, it’s not like I was buying ingredients for meth or anything. Still, I was paranoid and I didn’t want anyone to ask any questions. Period. I wandered the store and picked up miscellaneous odds and ends until I reached my destination: tools. I headed straight for the section I needed, my section. There, in all of its glittering glory, lie my target. I almost cried at the relief I could already feel preparing itself to leave my body. At least this would make the rest of my day bearable and silence the demons that were screaming inside my head. I picked up the package of razor blades and I almost laughed to myself in joy. Of course, I knew this was wrong. But the alternative, having to battle with my demons for the next few hours, was something I wasn’t willing to even consider. Stashing the package at the bottom of my pile of crap, I headed up to the registers. I checked out, watching the cashier for any signs of concern. She showed none and rang up my things without even taking a second glance at my razor blades. Thank God. I breathed a sigh of relief, paid, and left the store. Now, where to do the deed? I couldn’t go to the Target bathroom; I didn’t want anyone walking in. This was something I needed to do alone. Suddenly, an idea popped into my head. I rushed to the back of the store and nestled myself behind a dumpster. Perfect place. I set my bag down on the pavement and dug out the package of razor blades. I carefully opened the package and slid out a single blade, its stainless steel coating glistening in the bright sun. I placed the blade on the skin of my forearm, already feeling the release rush to my skin. I let myself go then and got lost in the ecstasy of the pain leaving my body, at least for now.
“You okay?” an unfamiliar voice interrupted me. I quickly snuck the razor blade behind my back and glanced over in the direction the voice came from. A tall figure was standing in the shadows. I squinted my eyes, trying to make out any discerning features. Nothing. I was pretty sure this was a stranger and I should have been wary, afraid even, but I wasn’t. I was too intent on getting this person to leave so I could return to what I was doing.
“Hey,” the stranger said louder, “I asked if you’re okay.” I pinpointed that the stranger was a male and he had an accent, one I hadn’t heard before. British maybe?
I grinned at him and nodded, “Fine.”
I nodded again. I looked down at my feet and waited for the man to go away. He didn’t. He just stood there and even though I wasn’t looking at him, I could tell he was watching me.
“What are you doing back here by yourself?”
Now, I was getting annoyed. What business was any of this to him? And why couldn’t he just leave me the Hell alone? This was getting to be ridiculous.
“I could ask you the same question,” I snapped back at him.
“Fair enough,” he replied calmly. I looked over at him and he was staring at me, hands deep in his pockets.
“I’m just trying to, um, hide,” the man stated.
I nodded in agreement, “Me too.”
He said nothing, which was nice. But it’d be even nicer if he’d leave. I waited for a few moments to see if he would disperse, but he didn’t. He just stood there quietly, making me even angrier and more anxious. I just wanted to be left alone and I certainly didn’t want to be caught doing what I was doing.
“So,” I started, “I’m fine. You’re fine. Could you like…leave me alone?”
He scowled at me then and I watched as a flash of anger passed through his eyes. Apparently, he had a quick temper. I became frightened for a second, but the anger vanished as soon as it had appeared.
“Why don’t you leave if you want to be alone?” he asked.
“I was here first,” I replied. I knew I was almost whining and sounding like a child, but seriously who did this guy think he was. I was here just doing my thing and he had to come along and mess everything up. And now, he wouldn’t fucking leave!
“And I’m here now. I don’t plan on leaving quite yet, so if you’d rather be alone I suggest you leave first.”
“Fine,” I huffed. If he wanted to play this way, so be it. I wasn’t going to waste any more energy arguing with this idiot. I picked up the Target bag off the pavement, secretly dropped the razor blade into it, and began walking out from behind the dumpster. I walked past the man, keeping my eyes locked on his. He was still hidden in the shadows, but I could make out his thin frame, dark curly hair, and his eyes. Those piercing green eyes. I swear I’d seen them somewhere before, but I couldn’t pinpoint where. I almost stopped to stare at them for a while; they were just so beautiful. But I kept my head about me and kept walking. I was almost out of the little alleyway when I felt a hand grab onto my wrist. I jumped back and snapped my head around to look at this guy. The anger was boiling over and I was about to lose my mind with him. Who did he think he was touching me?!
“What the Hell are you doing?” I nearly screamed.
“You’re bleeding,” he said.
Shit! Had he seen? And if so, what do I say? I became instantly nervous at the thought of being caught in the act, by a stranger no less. I took a deep breath and told myself to stay calm, act as if he knew nothing.
“I am?” I asked, trying to appear concerned.
He nodded at me and pointed to the area behind the dumpster where I had been hiding before he had interrupted me. Indeed, a few drops of fresh blood were spattered on the pavement.
“Ah,” I stammered, “ I must’ve scratched my leg or something.”
I watched as he glanced down at my legs and moved his eyes up my body, presumably looking for any injuries. I held my left arm to my side, hoping he wouldn’t notice that it was the source of blood.
“I don’t see any scratches,” he murmured after he had scanned my body. He took a step closer to me and I stepped away. I didn’t want him to get any closer, not necessarily for fear of what he would do to me but in fear of what he would see.
“I’m not going to hurt you. I just want to make sure you’re alright. Clearly, you’re injured somewhere.”
“Really, I’m fine. I need to, uh, get back to my friend.”
I started walking out of the alley again and listened as his footsteps followed behind. I turned and glared at him, daring him to keep following me.
“You’re being super creepy right now. Do you know that?” I growled.
He shrugged, “I’m not going to leave you alone until I make sure you’re okay.”
“I’m walking; I’m talking; I’m fucking breathing. Looks like I’m okay.”
“I just want to be sure.”
I rolled my eyes at him, “Don’t you have somewhere else to be?”
That almost stopped him in his tracks.
“What do you mean?” he muttered.
“You said you were hiding. I don’t particularly care from what or who, but I would guess you have other places to be.”
He appeared to relax then and took another step towards me, his face now half in the light. I gasped and realized exactly who I was talking to. How had I been so stupid not to know?! The British accent. The hair. The eyes. Good God, I was talking to Harry Styles…and being a complete bitch! What do I do now? I wondered. Do I act the same? Do I freak out? I didn’t know. I took a deep breath and turned away from him, attempting to collect my thoughts. I decided that my best solution was to act like nothing had changed. If I started freaking out, he’d have the motive to get closer to me and then he’d see the cuts all across my forearm. I didn’t need that.
I turned back around and he was right there, in my face. I jumped again, completely startled. I hadn’t even heard him move.
“R-really. I’m f-fine,” I stammered.
He frowned at me and I began to panic, wondering what I had said or done that made him upset. He was more beautiful than I could have ever imagined, more than any picture could ever show. I looked at him again and he was still frowning, his eyebrows deeply furrowed. I noticed he was staring at something and followed his eyes…straight to my arm. In my excitement of realizing I was talking to the Harry Styles, I had allowed my left arm to go limp from my body. And there, in all its ‘glory’, hung my cuts exposed to the world and, more specifically, to Harry.
“Shit,” I muttered.