I awoke the next morning to soft humming. I felt so comfortable laying on my front, my arms above my head under the pillow. I groaned softly, turning my heavy head to face the voice. But it was above me. Harry’s stomach was pressed to my back, his body practically lying on top of me. His head was resting between my shoulder blades, muscled arms around my waist. I buried my face into the pillow, listening to the soft words sang to me.
I promised you one day I’d bring you back a star
I caught one and it burnt a hole in my hand
Seems like these days I watch you from afar
Just trying to make you understand
I’ll keep my eyes wide open, yeah
Don’t let me, don’t let me, don’t let me go
Coz I’m tired of feeling alone
Don’t let me, don’t let me go
“That’s so sad,” I muttered. “Are those your words?”
I felt Harry shuffle up the bed, his tall body lying on his side next to me. I rolled over onto my side, my arm resting on his hip.
“Yeah,” Harry murmured with his raspy morning voice, his head sinking heavily into his pillow. “I write a little when I’m bored.”
I grinned at his shyness towards his confession, teeth nibbling on his bottom lip. I ran my thumb across his lip, gently pulling it out from between his teeth before I tucked some stray curls behind his ear.
“They have so much meaning,” I said. “Where do you get your ideas from?”
“Things around me,” he said softly, eyes wandering around the room behind my head. I watched as the corners of his mouth began to lower, his smile fading away. “My past,” he continued, his bottom lip back between his teeth.
“What about me?” I whispered.
His eyes met mine, pink speckled on his cheeks. I laughed at his reaction, twisting a curl around my index finger.
“I-I’m working on something,” he murmured. “But its rubbish though. I’ve only written a verse. It needs loads more work and…”
“Sing it,” I interrupted. Harry’s nervousness was displayed through his reddening cheeks, stuttering out another excuse. I wound my fingers through the hair on the back of his head before closing my fist around it. I tugged lightly, catching his nervous gaze. “Please,” I pleaded.
Harry let out a long sigh, but a smile flashed across his face nonetheless. I let my eyes fall closed, listening intently to the lyrics.
“You and I,
We don't wanna be like them,
We can make it till the end,
Nothing can come between,
You and I.”
“Just you and I,” I whispered, my eyes flickering open. “Forever.”
Harry’s arm slid around my body, tugging me into him. I groaned softly at the strong action, tracing Harry’s spine with my fingertips as soft words were murmured through his full lips.
“If we could only have this life for one more day,
If we could only turn back time,
You know I’ll be your life, your voice, your reason to be,
My love, my heart is breathing for this moment in time,
I’ll find the words to say before you leave me today.”
His chest vibrated as he sang, each word carrying so much meaning. His voice began to crack towards the end before dying out finally. I watched the tears run down his face before wiping them away. His chest jerked as the forced back the sobs, his eyes squeezed shut.
“My parents,” he whispered softly, peeling his eyes open. “I just want to see them one more time, Rosie. I never got to say goodbye.”
I cupped his neck and sprinkled kisses across his cheeks in comfort. We both knew what it was like losing someone you loved so much. We both felt this continuous heartache. I rolled us both over, his body lying on mine, allowing me to comfort him in my arms. He buried his face into my neck, my arms tight around his body. It surprised me how quickly the mood can change in the room between us. But at the same time I was silently grateful for this rare occasion of waking up next to Harry. I didn’t realise how much I’d miss it once it was gone. I was glad I was here to comfort Harry. The mere thought of that woman from yesterday holding Harry in her arms sickened me. I wanted to hold Harry, to cause the smile on his face. No one else. Just me.
I just held him close to me, playing with his curls, gently rubbing his back. He sobbed quietly into my neck until simmering down to whimpers.
“Let’s forget about training for today,” I murmured into his ear. “Let’s do something a bit more fun.”
“So what do you think of this then, Rosie?”
I stopped flicking through the array of denim jeans and spun around to find Harry stood behind me. I burst out laughing as Harry posed dramatically in front of me, a black string vest behind held up over his torso.
“Do you find this sexy, Rosie?” he asked deeply, quickly approaching me. “Tell me what you think.”
“It’s very…revealing,” I laughed, taking the thin piece of clothing in my hand. I was just happy that his warm smile had returned since this morning. I enjoyed these moments we had together, the flirting, the teasing. It was like the beginning all over again.
Harry sucked in his cheeks, one eye dropping into a wink.
“Should I try it on now?” he asked cheekily. “I’ll just strip here in the middle of the aisle, yeah?”
“No!” I practically shouted, chuckling at his attempt to pull his shirt over his head. My hands stopped him, tugging the material back down. We both laughed loudly, catching everyone’s attention as we fought with the hem of Harry’s shirt. But we didn’t care if we looked strange. We were happy.
Harry suddenly stumbled back into a stack of clothes, knocking over a whole rail of tops.
“Shit,” he laughed, bending down and grab the rail. I stood back to laugh at him, a few irritated glances thrown our way. “You could help me, you know,” Harry said, trying to hook the rail back up to the stand. I shook my head at him, clearly enjoying watching him draw even more attention to himself.
Harry let out a sigh as he hung the railing back up. I watched as he turned back around, his fingers curling under the hem of the shirt, teasing me again. I quickly approached him, continuing our play fight in the middle of the aisle, soft skin of his hands on my own making me smile.
“You can’t beat me, Rosie,” Harry muttered lowly, a devilish smirk dancing on his plump lips. His head leaned into me, soft lips grazing mine. I let out a small moan, my eyes rolling back in my head. Suddenly the material slipped from my hands, the rising shirt revealing Harry’s stomach, bunched up just under his chest.
My eyes flickered down to his soft skin, but I soon remembered it wasn’t as soft as it was before. My smile faded from my lips. Harry quickly followed my gaze; his features fell as the long scratch marks down his torso were revealed to most of the shop watching us. Harry quickly let the material go. I watched it fall down over his marked stomach.
He couldn’t look me in the eye, his cheeks burning red with embarrassment. I think this was the first time in his life he wasn’t confident with his body. And that was because of me.
I reached out, gently running my hands down his covered torso. I finally gripped his sides, tugging him closer to me.
“Only I get to see you,” I murmured, watching a smile relax onto his face. “You’re mine.”
I let a warm kiss linger on the corner of his mouth before withdrawing quickly.
“You’re still beautiful to me,” I whispered, letting my fingers brush through his curls. “I swear I wouldn’t have done that to you if I wasn’t under the influence of this beast. I would never purposefully hurt you, Harry…”
“I know,” he interrupted.
Warms smiles were shared between us before we realised we were drawing even more attention to ourselves. I took a step back from him, letting his curls slip from between my fingers.
“I’m going to look at the shoes,” I spoke, thumbing over my shoulder.
“Get whatever you want,” Harry replied. “It’s on me.”
“Harry, are you sure? I’m sure I can…”
“Go, Rosie,” Harry spoke with a wide smirk, shooing me away. “Get whatever you need.”
My lips parted to protest, but the look on Harry’s face warned me not to. I gave him a thankful smile before making my way to the next aisle, pairs and pairs of shoes on shelves either side of me. I felt myself drift into my own little world, my hands exploring the different pairs of shoes.
I always loved the texture, the smell of leather, reminding me dearly of my father’s favourite pair of leather shoes. I grinned at myself, remembering back to when my father caught me stumbling around the house in his new pair of shoes. I’d scuffed them at the toes when I had tripped up the stairs. He grabbed me and swung me over his shoulder, carrying me back up to the bedroom where I found them. He sat me down at the end of the bed, taking them off of my feet. I apologised a thousand times, telling him I liked the smell, the feeling of them. But he wasn’t mad at me. He could never be mad at me. The next week I had my own pair of girly leather shoes to wear whenever I wanted. I used to sleep in them I loved them that much. My father just laughed at me as he watched me strut around the house, performing a fashion parade to my parents. Their grins encouraged me, their laughter making me feel so confident in myself. They always knew how to make me feel special.
“Sorry,” I suddenly mumbled, shaking my head lightly. I was too busy reminiscing to realise I’d crashed into a smaller woman. I smiled down to her, but a pale face just stared back up at me. Her blonde hair was greasy and tangled, dark circles under her eyes. I watched as her face slowly fell, her dry lips parting at the sight of me. I vaguely recognised her, my mind trying to work out who she was.
Tears swelled in her eyes as she slowly backed away from me, pointing a shaking finger at me. A few heads had turned to stare, the woman mumbling under her breath.
“Murderer,” she spoke, tears trickling down her wrinkled face. “She murdered my son.”