“Rosie?” a faint mumble asked.
My gaze fell upon a drowsy Harry. His weak body was leaning against the bedroom doorframe, arms crossed over his chest.
“You’re meant to be in bed.” I pushed my body away from the wall, taking shy steps towards him.
“I was, but I couldn’t sleep.”
I was grateful for Harry beginning to approach me because I didn’t know how much further my weak legs could carry me. I half fell into Harry’s arms, but for the first time his touch didn’t feel protecting. I didn’t feel safe around him anymore, not after reading that text. Am I wanted? Does Harry want me dead? As Harry’s arms slid around me, holding me to his chest, I soon doubted my thoughts. I trusted Harry with my life. He wouldn’t harm me, would he? I buried in my face Harry’s his chest as a way of distracting myself, but it didn’t work.
For the first time ever, I felt vulnerable with Harry.
“Lie with me,” he mumbled, running his fingers through my hair.
I lifted my head from his chest, teeth sunk into my bottom lip. He titled my head up for my gaze to meet his.
I watched in silence as Harry slipped under the duvet cover. I leaned against the closed bedroom door behind me, feeling Harry’s worried stare burning into me. He rolled onto his side, the duvet pulled up to his chin. I could make out the tall shape of his body, his slim legs under the covers, bringing a small smile to my lips. Harry gripped the top of the duvet, pulling it open as a way of enticing me into the bed with him.
“Come on, Rosie.”
I slowly shuffled over to the bed and climbed into the double bed beside him. Strong arms soon embraced me, tugging me quickly into his body warmth. The hasty action made me gasp, Harry holding onto me for dear life. We soon rolled over, Harry lying heavily on top of me. I gazed up at him, hating myself for even thinking that Harry would want to harm me, let alone kill me. I felt a heavy pressure behind my eyes, tears threatening to spill out. That’s when I realised. This is what Samuel wants me to feel like. He wants me to turn against Harry so I’ll do what he wants me to do. But I won’t. I just won’t.
“You won’t leave me, will you, Rosie?” Harry suddenly asked, tears brimming over his own eyes. “Please don’t turn yourself in. I need you more than ever. Promise me you won’t go.”
I gazed up at Harry’s pale face, dark circles under his eyes, staring down at me though hooded eyelids. With every second that I didn’t answer, Harry’s face fell slightly. It broke my heart to see him look so down hearted. I hated it.
“I promise,” I whispered.
I squeezed his sides tight, my right eye dropping in a wink. A huge sigh of relief was passed through Harry’s plump lips, a smile relaxing onto his face.
“I really do love you, Rosie,” he mumbled before kissing my cheek. Once he withdrew, our eyes locked, all our worries, our regrets forgotten about. As we held each other in our arms, we knew we had one another. Neither of us were going anywhere.
“I love you too, baby.”
We must have slept through the afternoon and night as I woke up the next morning to the sun creeping in through the gap in the curtains. I smiled to myself as I remembered lying here yesterday with Harry, talking about everything as we cuddled under the duvet. His fingers were weaving through my hair as he told me everything we would do when we were older. We’re gonna live in that small cottage near my old home.
“We’ll redecorate it ourselves. You can have it any way you want. I don’t care as long as I’m with you.”
Remembering Harry’s words brought a smile to my face. It would just be us two, no old memories, no pasts. We would start fresh. We would begin our lives all over again. Together.
We had fallen asleep in each other’s arms yesterday, but as the time slowly passed by, I soon realised Harry’s arm wasn’t draped over my side, our legs no longer entwined. I rolled myself over, my heart sinking in my chest as my eyes fell upon pulled back covers, the bed empty beside me. The smile was wiped from my face viciously. We’d spoken so much yesterday about never leaving each other. But he’s done it again. He’s gone off without telling me.
I cursed Harry rudely in my head, feeling tears well in my eyes, but I refused to cry. It just made me feel sleepier. I felt like a baby afterwards, but it always felt good to have Harry here to wipe my tears away. But he wasn’t here. He was never here.
I must have drifted off to sleep again, my body suddenly jolting awake again at a horrific nightmare. Harry hadn’t left me; he had been stolen from me. I saw him lying face down in a puddle in the alleyway, limp curls falling around his face, the ends of his locks dipping into the water. Blood was seeping out of Harry’s body, staining his white t-shirt adorning his broken body. He was in the exact same position Liam was in as he was beaten. Only those horrible men weren’t there. It was just me and Harry. And Samuel.
Harry’s back muscles were still prominent, but they were barely jerking up and down as he tried breathing. He was slowly dying in front of us, but all I could focus on was Samuel’s encouraging words, the blood escaping Harry’s body.
“Do it, girl,” Samuel growled.
I glanced up at him before focusing back down to Harry’s weak body. He tried rolling himself over, but he was too frail.
“Rosie,” he barely spoke, turning his heavy head to one side. His cheek rested in the puddle, weak green eyes staring up at me. “Rosie, don’t do this. Please. I love you.”
A foot was suddenly pressed into the side of Harry’s head, eliciting a painful scream from Harry. Samuel smirked down at our victim. We had him right where we wanted him.
“Kill him, Rosalie. Then you can join me. We’ll be a team. You and me. Forever.”
Another scream of agony was forced from Harry, Samuel grinding his foot against Harry’s head. Samuel outstretched his arm to my shaking form, wiggling his fingers at me.
“Be with me.”
That’s when I’d woken up. I quickly clambered out of bed, stumbling for a moment on the spot. It was just a dream. Harry was okay, right? My eyes quickly scanned the room; the first time in my life I wanted Samuel to be here to confront him. But the empty room just stared back at me. I wanted to keep Harry safe with me, but I can’t if he keeps running off. But as my eyes fell upon a folded piece of paper across the room, I began to calm down.
I stumbled over to the framed picture on his desk of Harry with his parents on their holiday. A folded bit of paper had been wedged between the frame and the picture. I gently tugged it out, unfolding the paper with shaking hands. I half expected it to be a ransom note saying that Harry was with Samuel right now.
Didn’t want to wake you. You looked too peaceful. Gone out for a bit to meet Louis and Ed…
The names sent shivers of fright through my body. I was certain they had spiked my drinks that night, being the cause for me harming Harry. I never wanted to see them again.
…but I’ll meet you for training at 2pm. See you then. I love you.
I read the note again and again. Had he really gone to meet Louis and Ed? Harry was furious with them when he had to basically carry me home that night from the nightclub after my drunken fight with them. I don’t remember the night very well, but the rage in Harry’s eyes as he took one final look at his mates before we left the club never seemed to fade in my mind. That look frightened me.
I dropped the note and staggered out of the bedroom, the place too quiet for my liking. I made myself some breakfast, put the TV on, paced around the flat, but my worries for Harry was growing. Did he really think I would believe he was with Ed and Louis? Why was he lying to me? Yesterday lying in bed together felt so good, like we had just met all over again. So why did Harry feel he had to lie to me?
I finally threw my untouched toast into the bin and decided to have a quick shower. I shuffled shyly into the bathroom. The last time I was in here I had such painful flashbacks. I’d almost drowned.
I shakily stripped out of my jeans and pulled down the outside chord for the shower. It was a small cubicle in the corner of the room, left of the bath. I watched from outside the glass door of the shower as water suddenly rushed out of the shower head, hearing the thundering noise of the liquid splatting against the inside of the cubicle. It felt like sharp needles were pricking into my skull with each water droplet smacking against the plastic. I quickly decided to pull myself together. No one was with me and it was only in the bath Samuel could get hold of me.
Taking in a deep breath, I stepped into the shower, adjusting the cool water until steam rose up into the shower cubicle. I shut the door behind me before I sighed heavily, feeling the hot water rush down my back. I gradually tilted my head back, letting the water splash my face. I ran my hands slowly through my hair, letting my lips part to allow a few drops to enter my mouth. It felt refreshing, relaxing. For a moment I forgot about my worries, my loneliness in this flat. For a few minutes I felt free.
I finally got out, wrapping a towel under my armpits. I shuffled out into the living room after putting on Harry’s jeans and a baggy shirt, rubbing at my hair with a smaller towel when I saw something that made my whole world just collapse. Harry was lying on the ground by the front door, deep teeth marks in his neck, his eyes closed.
I dropped the towel, running over to his limp body. Tears ran down my face as I let the sobs escape me one after the other. He’s gone. He’s left me. Samuel’s finally won. He took the best thing to happen to me. I’ve lose everything.
I cried as I approached his body, ready to scoop him up in my arms and hold his lifeless body, but something stopped me. A cold hand slammed into my chest, sending me flying back. I hit the wall with a thump before crashing to the ground. I ached all over as I tried hauling myself up, but a hand grabbed my throat, lifting me from the floor and slamming me up against the wall. I stared at the dead face leaning into me, tears running down my face.
“Liam,” I whispered.
“You killed me!” he spat. “I had a future, but you took that from me.”
“I-I’m sorry,” I stuttered, clawing at his hand around my throat. I didn’t even know what was going on. Was I seeing a ghost?
“Sorry doesn’t bring me back to life now does it?” He pressed tighter against my throat, making me cry out. I apologised again, but Liam spun me around and threw me across the room by my throat. I went flying, but my body soon crashed into another’s. I screamed out as we collided, my body being held up from behind, a familiar accent whispering in my ear.
“I thought you loved me,” Niall whispered. “We were waiting for the right time, but you took it too far.”
I turned my head to apologise, but a fist slammed into my stomach. I cried out as Niall’s hand clasped around my throat, stopping me from making any other noise. I stared at the man who had cheated on me.
“I’m going to get you back for what you did to me,” Zayn spat in my face before pounding his fists and knee into my body. I wanted to cry out, scream, sob, but Niall’s hand moved from my throat to over my mouth, holding me as Zayn beat me. My head was forced back onto Niall’s shoulder, tears silently falling down my face as my abilities refused to help me in this situation. I would heal, but for now I just had to take what I was given.
“I think we’re done here.”
Zayn stepped back as Niall let go of me. I crumpled to the ground, sobbing into the carpet. I curled up, feeling the boys’ eyes on me from above.
“I’m sorry!” I cried. “I didn’t mean to do what I did. Please, just leave me alone!”
They all smirked down at me, fists clenched by their sides. They started to beat me again.
“I’ll get you, girl,” Samuel’s voice roared around us as I was beaten. “One day.”
I knew he’d be here somewhere, that he’d have a part in all of this. I rolled over to block as many hits as I could when I found Harry’s dead body lying next to me. I reached out, slowly rolling him over. His limp body turned to face me, his dead eyes open and staring straight at me. I sobbed, running my fingers through his hair.
“I let you down,” I whispered. “I’m sorry.” I closed my eyes, pressing his cold body up against mine, praying that this was all just a dream.
And it was. I opened my eyes, finding myself curled up on the living room floor with my arms wrapped around myself. I ached everywhere. It was like I’d hallucinated it all, but the pain of being beaten was still there. I shakily got to my feet, the flat as peaceful as it was before. I stood in the middle of the room, holding myself as I sobbed, unsure of what to do with myself. What had just happened?
My eyes finally fell upon my phone on the kitchen counter. I shakily grabbed it and shuffled to the sofa, collapsing heavily onto it with a pained grunt. Ringing the only contact I had on there, I pressed the phone to my ear, listening as it rang. I sighed shakily as it eventually went to voicemail. Harry’s raspy voice asked me to leave a message after the beep. I brushed the tears from my cheek before running my fingers through my wet hair. It beeped.
“Harry, where are you?” I sobbed down the phone. “I need to know you’re okay. I know you’re not really out with your mates. Why do you keep lying to me, Harry? I need your trust. I need to know I have it. Just come home, yeah? I need you, Harry.”
I abruptly cut off, feeling more tears thickening in my eyes. I stared down at the phone in my hand, grinning weakly at the lock screen of me and Harry lying together in bed. The image brought a warm feeling to my stomach. He had taken it as I slept in his arms, my head on his bare chest, his arm tight around me. It was taken before he had given me the phone up on the roof. I found it on there the next day. It was a perfect picture, one I’d treasure for the rest of my life. His head was leaning into me slightly, his eyelids drooping in tiredness, a tired but warm smile adorning his plump lips. It was perfect.
But the memories of what happened earlier quickly wiped the smile from my face. Anger built in me as I remembered I was alone, that Harry wasn’t here for me when I needed him. I punched Harry’s number - I knew it off by heart - into the phone again, waiting until it had gone to answerphone again. Hearing his raspy tone in the recorded message filled me with more rage. I finally exploded as I heard the beep.
“For God sake, Harry! Why aren’t you ringing me back?!” I screamed before rubbing my eyes with my hand, forcing back the childish tears. “I-I was attacked, Harry. I was seeing ghosts. They threw me across the room and beat me. And you...you were dead, Harry. Just lying on the floor not moving at all. I was so scared.”
I’d finally let the tears out, weeping like a baby down the phone. I covered my face with one hand, pressing my lips together to muffle the sobs.
“I’m terrified, Harry,” I finally mumbled. “Just come home, please.”
I finished the message. I curled up on the sofa as I tried ringing Harry several more times, but he never answered.
“Harry, for God sake, ring me back. I’m worried about you,” I said down the phone, sitting up on the sofa. “Please, come home,” I muttered as my upper body fell back down onto the sofa. I landed heavily on my back, Harry’s scent lingering in the air around me. I breathed it in deeply, the phone still to my ear. “I love you, Harry,” I murmured before ending the message. I let go of the phone, landing silently on the cushions beside my head. I brought my hands up to my face, sobbing loudly into them. I let out everything, my anger, my sense of loss, my fright, and just cried.
2pm eventually came. I hauled myself up from the sofa, grabbing the phone to ring Harry again. Every second that passed I grew more scared for him. He could be lying in a ditch somewhere for all I knew.
I wedged the phone between my ear and shoulder as I snatched my keys from the counter, grabbing a bottle of water from the fridge. But my mobile suddenly fell to the ground as I sound around at the sound of a muffled ringing coming from the living room somewhere. I half expected to see Harry was back, but the place was still empty. I glanced back down at my phone, the screen still lit up, showing me I was calling Harry.
The ringing continued in the living room. I frantically searched the place, looking under piles of paper on the bookcase, in drawers of in the cabinet. Until the ringing finally stopped. I ran back into the kitchen, snatching the phone from the floor. I rang the phone again, listening out for Harry’s ring tone. I tried remembering the last time I’d seen it. Then it hit me. I had thrown it on the sofa yesterday after reading the text. It was under the cushion. And I was right.
I picked it up from the sofa, ignoring my call to the phone. I must have muffled it when I was sat on the sofa earlier so I couldn’t hear it. My eyebrows furrowed in confusion. Why didn’t Harry take it with him? He never leaves his phone at home. The only logical reason I could think of would be that he wasn’t able to find it this morning. And that’s why he wasn’t replying to my calls. It solved one mystery, but now I had no way of contacting him whatsoever. I just had to hope he was going to turn up for training.
I checked the clock on the wall. I was late. I grabbed my keys, shoving them into my back pocket before taking the water bottle from the kitchen, both phones in my other hand.
Praying that Harry would be there for training, I quickly dashed out of the door. I didn’t want to miss Harry at the boxing club so I ran to get there as fast as I could, taking back alleys and empty streets.
I was there within a few minutes, feeling heat burning at my muscles. I quickly shut my body down, feeling the beast rise inside of me. A small smile was brought to my lips as I did so. This time a few weeks ago I wouldn’t have been able to control my abilities running all this way. I would have turned. But now I was able to stop it. The training must be working. I’m slowly, but surely, getting my control back.
Taking in deep breaths to calm myself, I stood outside the metal fence of the club, noticing the padlock was still locked on the gate. If Harry was here surely he would have kept it open. I sighed heavily, taking the keys from my pocket to unlock it myself. The outer door was also locked, diminishing all hope I had of Harry being inside the boxing club.
I stepped inside, the place dead. I was suddenly plunged into darkness, the door slamming shut behind me. The shock caused my water bottle to slip out of my hand, my body jumping at the sound of it crashing to the floor. I quickly spun around, frantically searching the walls for the light switch.
“He’s not here, Rosalie.”
My body froze, the whispered words encircling me. I trailed my hands along the wall, feeling an ice cold breeze on the back of my neck. I whimpered fearfully, craving some light to fill the room quickly.
“He’s not coming, Rosalie.”
I tried ignoring the voice; each second in this darkness that passed my heart beat harder in my chest. I cursed under my breath, feeling drops of water trickle down my back. Cold shivers ran through my body, my skin feeling wet, damp. I pressed my palms into the wall, needing to find the light switch before I passed out with fright.
“He’s gone, Rosalie.”
I let out a huge sigh of relief, my hand flicking the light on. It exploded into the room, the voice stopping instantly. I turned my shaking body, leaning back on the wall. The place was empty, no sign of the one man I wanted to see. So I waited. I waited for him to arrive.
I just stared at the boxing ring opposite me, remembering the times we had in there. We laughed, we relaxed, we fought. I took it all for granted the time I spent with Harry. I didn’t know it would end like this. It broke my heart. I buried my head in my bent knees, curling myself up tighter and tighter, until the air was crushed out of my lungs, but I didn’t care. The pain was no different to how I was feeling inside.
I soon felt tears brim over my eyes, but I refused to cry. Not again. I replaced it with anger instead. My fist clenched and rose in the air to smash into the wall. But I stopped myself. What was the point in making holes in the wall when I was surrounded by all this equipment? If Harry wasn’t going to turn up for our training lesson I’ll do it myself.
I shuffled back out of the changing rooms, now in training clothes. I decided to wear Harry’s t-shirt and trackies. I was determined to be tough today. The shock of everything that’s happened these past few days made me want to break down right here, but I knew that that would get me nowhere. I had to be tough on myself.
Approaching the punch bag, I slipped on my gloves. With one foot behind the other, I focused myself on the training, nothing else. I glared at the bag in front of me, letting Harry’s words trickle into my head.
I suddenly slammed my hand forward, the chain holding the bag rattling like mad. I grinned at my action, repeating my moves. I grunted with each punch, twisting my body for more impact. It felt good getting my anger out. I was in control of my body. This is what I needed. I was getting all of my energy out of me through exercise instead of letting the beast take over me. With every swing to the bag I thought of having that one kiss with Harry. I’d have no worries of this beast escaping. I wouldn’t feel those hot tingles warning me of this creature inside me. I’d be free and with Harry. That’s all I wanted. And by doing this training I was getting closer to controlling it. I could feel it in my muscles.
I was still in deep thought when my pocket vibrated. I quickly tore off my gloves and delved into my pockets, feeling Harry’s phone vibrate. I kept it on me just in case he’d ring his own phone. A text lit up the screen. It was details. A time and place. I finally had a lead.
I didn’t bother getting change. I darted straight over to the door, wiping the beads of sweat from my forehead, rereading the text as I swung the main door open.
The park at 3pm.