What A Feeling
Ah, the joy that a place like IHOP can bring. Nothing’s better than to eat chocolate chip pancakes and watch your lover and your best mate stare at each other menacingly. “Let’s see,” I glanced at the lock screen on my phone. “You two have set the world record for death stares in an IHOP. Two hours. Congratulations.”
No reply. What the hell? Are they going to keep staring at each other all day? This continues until our waiter brings us more of the endless pancakes that we ordered. After the waiter was out of sight, Dalia and Harry continued their stare as they were about to begin eating their fresh plate of pancakes. I couldn’t take the silence any longer. “Who wants some insults with those pancakes?”
In an instant, both turned towards me. “What?” Dalia said first.
“Don’t you mean syrup mate?” Harry adds.
“You both know what I meant. Can you both stop staring at each other? You two look like complete psychopaths. At least say something to each other!”
Dalia and Harry took one look at each other while slowly crossing their arms. And now the eternal stare continues…
“I’m sorry for faking my injury.” I lifted my head up. Did she just? Finally.
Harry extended his hand. “Friends?”
“Friends.” The rest of our meal was alright after they shook hands. Or so I thought.
As soon as we paid the bill, a tall brunette with green eyes approach our table. “Are you two Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles?” It’s been a while since we’ve met fans. Even when lads and I were together, we never got to actually meet any of our fans directly. Because of how many of them we had. Harry of course, always loved to meet a fan, but things would always end up out of hand and a mob of fans would result. Coincidently, the brunette girl was wearing a 1D shirt. And it wasn’t authentic One Direction merchandise. While Harry started to chat her up, Dalia and I whispered back and forth.
“What is that on her shirt?”
“Those are characters from Minecraft. It’s a game that came out in 2011.”
“Okay. I get that. Why does she have a 1D symbol next to them?” There were only two characters on that shirt. Dalia started to giggle as she stared at the stranger’s shirt. “What? What’s so bloody funny?”
“She’s,” Dall whispers as she points to the shirt, “She’s a ‘Larry’ shipper.”
I sat silent for a bit, proceeding to bury my face into my hands. This ‘Larry’ thing was popular among the fandom before we broke up the band. At first me and Hazza were okay with it. After all, we just thought of it as a bromance and nothing more. But seeing all the things that fans have done to try and convince the world that we’re a couple‒ not to mention all the other ‘relationships’ that the lads have been put in‒ has become uncomfortable over the years.
I always wondered why fans pushed ‘Larry Stylinson’ the most. One possibility was Harry coming out as bisexual. I absolutely do not blame him at all for his sexuality, but in hindsight, I should have held back a tad when we messed around with each other in the public eye. People begin to speculate our little bromance. And that’s when Harry began to have winter girlfriends.
The brunette wasn’t much trouble and not much of a pain in the arse. Yeah it sounds rude to call a fan like that, but believe me. Some people are just that annoying. We got up and left shortly after signing her shirt. “So Harry, where’d you-” I stopped mid-sentence. Oh God no.
“What’s the matter Louis?” Harry looked outside the glass doors of the IHOP to only discover what stopped me in the first place. I kid you not, the entire front of the IHOP was surrounded by a swarm of fans. “I guess Jessica told people where we were.”
“You think?” Dalia said. “Now I’m a fucking sitting duck with you two. Thanks a lot Harold.”
“How is it my fault? It was just one fan.”
“Ahem,” she moves her hands outward, motioning to the situation outside the restaurant. “I knew it was a bad idea for you to talk to a fan. I mean, look at this!”
“Well, maybe you shouldn’t have tagged along. Doll face.”
“I told you to quit calling me that!”
“Hey! Shut it. Both of you.” Within seconds, they did so. Bloody hell. When did I become the father of two 5 year-old adults? “Let’s think of a plan. I say we ask the manager if we can go out the back door. Anyone else have a better idea?”
“Why don’t we just go out the front door and hope for the best?” I honestly don’t know why I can even count on Harry sometimes. The first time we tried going through a crowd of fans, we barely made it out in one piece. Niall was panicking, Liam was worried about his shoes being taken, Harry was trying to calm down Niall, Zayn was scared shitless, and I was‒ well, I don’t remember it as much. I don’t remember it as much due to the frequency of it occurring over the years. I think I was looking for Zayn. Again, he was scared shitless and was yelling out, ‘I’m gonna die’. I wonder what he’s been up to in London…
Not now. I have to focus on getting out of here in one piece. I can’t imagine how were going to get out of this one.
Thirty minutes have passed and Dalia has managed to help the situation out a bit by telling the manager of our predicament. “Okay guys. We have a few options here.” Out of those options, the only two good ones were either all of us leaving through the back door or Dalia makes a run for it through the crowd to my car and meet me and Harry at the back of the restaurant.
“We could all go out of the door and run.” Dalia punches Harry in the arm. He yells out in pain and rubs his right arm. “Or we can do Dalia’s plan.” I handed Dall my car keys.
Ten more minutes have gone by, and we just decided to improvise. Harry and I ran out of IHOP and expected to run through the multitude of fans waiting outside, only to discover an empty parking lot. “What the hell?” Harry blurted out. “What happened to the chaos?”
“Are you two going to get in or what?” Dalia said as she pulled up to us. We drove for a while in silence with the radio playing softly in the background. We start to pass building after building, no words spoken at all. Harry even managed to fall asleep, his hat resting on his face. At a stop light, Dalia reaches for the volume button and turns it all the way left, making the engine of my Bayside Blue Nissan Skyline (R34 GTB Vspec to be precise) the only noise to be heard. “You guys are probably wondering how I got rid of all those fans.”
I look away from my view of the windshield and looked at her. “It’s not like you made them disappear with a snap of your fingers.”
The light turned green and Dalia started singing like a canary. Ha, that’s funny. Her name is a flower, yet- oh right.
While Harry and I were sitting back in our booth, Dalia went out the front door and got all of the fans’ attention. She told them Louis and Harry left but she ‘overheard’ them going to Midway Airport and leaving for Los Angeles. We were still oblivious to the fact that the fans cleared the parking lot in a matter of seconds before we decided to go through the crowd like mad men.
We took a stroll by the Navy Pier after finding a parking space. As we walked down the pier, I look up and stretch my arms high. The sky is a light shade of blue, with few clouds in sight. And the sun rays are beating down on us. Funny, not even five minutes and I feel as though I am going to melt like the witch in The Wizard of Oz. I stop in my tracks, put my arms down, and let out a slight grumble. “Ugh. I can’t take this heat.”
Dalia and Harry soon stop in front of me. Harry turns around. “Whatever man. At least I thought of bringing this hat with me. Just hurry up. We’ll find some place shady soon.” He tipped down his hat and started walking again. Dalia soon followed, eager to get out of the heat as much as I do. I found myself walking again, only this time my steps were larger and my pace increased.
“Ah fuck this.” I mumbled. I sprinted into Harry’s direction, ripped his hat off his curly haired head, and threw it as a Frisbee into the dark blue waters of Lake Michigan.
“LOUIS! WHAT THE HELL?!” within seconds, Harry became infuriated. His eyebrows scrunched up together, his face turning a slight shade of pink. Is it my imagination, or is that steam coming out of his ears?
“Ah calm down you prima donna. If I’m suffering in this heat, we all suffer together.” I put one hand in my pocket and extend my hand towards Dalia. “Let’s go Dall.” Hesitantly, she grabs my hand. And so the walk continues. Harry catches up to us, feeling defeated.
“Not cool mate,” he moves his hand through his messy hair, “That was my favorite hat.”
“Go tell that to Jessica,” I scoffed. “She probably noticed us because of your bloody hat. Now that’s not cool.” Out of nowhere, Dalia let go of my hand and jabbed me in the abdomen with her elbow. Yelling out in pain and slightly tearing up, I cross my arms around my abdomen and kneel to the ground. “D-Dalia. Why?”
“I’m sick of this,” She moves her hands around. “I’m sick of all of this. You two fighting over the dumbest things. Fucking childish. Oh, and this love triangle vibe. Not digging it at all. I’m done.” She started running away from us.
After exchanging a surprised look, Harry and I ran after her. “Dalia! Wait!” It was too late‒she fled from the Navy pier and hailed a taxi cab. “Dalia…” I fell to my knees again.
“Don’t worry mate,” Harry kneeled down beside me. “She’ll come around.”
Without saying a word, I got up from the ground and stepped on Harry’s foot. Hard. In a way, I felt bad because Dalia’s been hurting him all week. But now…
I don’t give a shit about his feelings.
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