“Meditation?” I asked, suppressing the urge to laugh as we strode out of the changing rooms. Harry nodded seriously before striding over to the boxing ring, dragging me along with him. I sighed heavily, jogging to try and catch up with him.
Harry soon slipped his hand from mine, bending one leg to haul himself up onto the boxing ring. He prised the top rope up, allowing me to climb through. I climbed into the boxing ring, Harry following me in just after.
“Do we have to do this?” I asked, sighing heavily as I turned to him.
“Yes. Meditation is used to clear the mind and ease stress.”
When I stared up at him in pure bewilderment, a sigh heavily left Harry’s lips.
“Just try it out, yeah?” he asked, raising his eyebrows.
I rolled my eyes, but finally agreed, sitting down cross legged in the middle of the ring where Harry nodded to. I watched as Harry sat opposite me, our knees a few inches apart. The solemnity on Harry’s face told me to take this seriously. I pressed my lips together, using all my strength to not laugh. Harry ignored me, taking a deep breath, his chest rising before slowly falling.
“Now first of all make sure you’re relaxed,” he muttered, staring seriously at me. I nodded, slouching casually as I sat in the ring. “Back straight, Rosie. Keep your spine upright.” Harry leaned forward, balancing on his knees to wrap an arm around me. I grinned as he pressed his hand into my back, forcing it to straighten. His curls brushed my ears as he pushed on my shoulders and pressing harder into my back at the same time. Once I was upright Harry pulled back, restoring to his original position.
“Now are you comfy?” he asked, shuffling on his backside dramatically. I snorted before nodding quickly, imitating his actions. “Good,” he laughed. “Place your hands on your knees.”
I nodded, attempting to straighten my face to take this seriously. Once my hands rested on my knees, I let a heavy sigh escape me, focusing on relaxing my tense muscles due to the events earlier.
“Make sure your breathing and your circulation is natural and comfortable for you to maintain.”
I let out another long breath through my “o” shaped lips, keeping my back straight, but relaxing into the position I was in. I was gradually beginning to calm and push the stress away.
“Now close your eyes and relax,” Harry muttered, doing as he instructed. I watched his orbs disappear, his eyelids fluttering closed. His facial features slowly softened, causing a smirk to flash across my face, staring at his beauty.
“Rosie,” he grumbled, eyes still closed as he maintained his relaxed position. His slim legs were still crossed, his index finger touching his thumb as his hands rested on either knee. “Concentrate.”
“Sorry,” I mumbled, finally letting my eyes fall closed, but the smirk never faded from my lips as I held onto a picture of Harry in my mind. I supressed the chuckles from escaping through my lips at the thought of touching Harry’s curls that adorned his head, letting my touch run across his bottom lip. I subconsciously took my bottom lip between my teeth, posture slouching at the thought.
“What are you thinking about?” Harry asked, forcing back the urge to laugh. My eyes shot open, Harry staring at me through one open eye. He pressed his lips together, stopping his face from creasing with amusement.
I hesitated before replying. “This really hot guy,” I muttered, smirking over to him.
Both eyes opened in interest, a corner of his mouth tugged up higher than the other. I nodded silently, letting my gaze wander over his muscled, toned body. My gaze suddenly fixed on the abs prominent under his tight shirt.
“Yeah,” I eventually whispered, eyes flicking back up to his amused face. “He’s gorgeous.”
“What does he look like then?”
Harry’s face displayed clear interest in my flirting, our meditation session on hold as I teased him.
“He’s very fit.” I smirked, loving my pure control over Harry’s feelings. “Dark curly hair. Gorgeous body.”
“Sounds hot,” Harry teased, eyes sparkling with affection. “What’s his name?”
I laughed loudly, avoiding a smack to the head. But Harry couldn’t help letting a smile play on his plump lips, sitting back, his eyes staring at me intently as my laughter died down.
“You love me really,” I teased, rolling forward onto my knees. I cupped his chin, my thumb resting against it as a quick peck on the lips was stolen from Harry’s mouth. I pulled back, grinning madly at him as I sat back, restoring my original position for our meditation session, the tingles subsiding.
“Yes, yes I do,” Harry laughed, squeezing my hand resting on my knee before relaxing once again, shuffling on his backside until he was comfortable again. Our eyes fell closed in unison, sneaky glances to each other every few seconds.
“Okay,” Harry finally laughed. “Let’s get back to our session.”
I pouted my lips at him, both eyes open once again. A pair of thick eyebrows was raised in my direction, causing me to roll my eyes in return.
“Come on,” Harry ordered, closing his eyes once again. I sighed heavily, but imitated his action, feeling the tension slowly drift away from my body. “Good,” he muttered. “Now take deep, slow breaths. Feel all the stress flow away from you with every breath you take.”
I did as Harry said, putting my full trust in him. My chest rose and fell peacefully, my body gradually relaxing in my position.
“Keep your spine straight, but at the same time make sure you feel comfortable.”
I heard him shift in front of me, but my eyes remained closed. A long, peaceful pause occurred between us, Harry’s steady breathing echoing in the room.
“Release all muscular tension in your body, Rosie. Let go of all concerns and worries in your mind…”
His voice drifted off, my mind focused on my muscles. A faint throbbing was still emanating from low in my muscles. I let out a long breath, feeling the tension trickle away by the second. As all tension was let go of from inside of me, I focused my attention back onto Harry’s words.
“Now, Rosie, I’m going to ask you some questions,” Harry murmured. “If it gets too uncomfortable or you wish not to answer then don’t feel we have to continue. But try your best. It’ll help, I promise.”
I nodded lazily in response, using all my strength to clear the anguish from my mind.
“Are you ready?”
“Yeah,” I whispered.
“Okay. What’s your earliest memory to start off with?”
I bit at my bottom lip, my mind racing right back to when I was young. A fuzzy picture grew in my mind, a positive aura filling me with warmth. I was so happy.
“I’m at home,” I spoke slowly, a wide grin covering my face, “in the living room. I’m on the carpet, playing with my dolls.”
“How were you feeling?” Harry asked.
“Happy,” I murmured. “I was so happy.”
“Was anyone else in the room with you?”
My vision spun around to find a broad figure sitting on the sofa behind my young body, watching with a wide grin across his face.
“Yes,” I said, trying to make out the face. “But I…I can’t see who it is…”
“Really focus in on the memory,” Harry told me. “Put yourself in that moment; relive it in your mind.”
I took another long breath, watching as the mist in my mind faded away. He was there, gazing down at my young self. His features were so clear. My small body felt even smaller compared to his tall frame. His eyes were so deep.
The smile gradually faded from my lips, his features dark, yet caring. My body instantly grew cold. I gasped, my face creased in anger. My fists subconsciously clenched on my knees, my breaths hissed out through my teeth.
“H-him,” I stuttered eventually. “Samuel.”
“What is he doing?”
“Watching me play. He’s grinning down at me with that sick smile.” My words escaped me quicker by the second, anger rising inside of me. My breaths shortened, chest jerking.
“Rosie, calm down,” Harry ordered.
“He’s there…in my mind…constantly watching me…”
“Don’t focus on him, focus on your feelings. How happy were you, Rosie? Tell me about that.”
“He’s still there, Harry. I can feel him. Make him go away,” I pleaded, tears swelling behind my closed eyelids. I could feel my back slouching, head gradually lowering.
“Rosie, stay with me,” Harry ordered. “Tell me your feelings of that day. How old were you? Who else was there?”
Suddenly a stunning figure appeared at the doorway behind Samuel, her red lips spreading across her stunning face. She gazed down at me, a white summer dress adorning her stunning figure.
“My...mother,” I finally whispered.
“Good. Anyone else?”
“Yes. My father.”
He appeared behind my mother, arms snaking around her waist. His chin lowered to her right shoulder, moving from foot to foot to rock her softly. He planted warm kisses to the revealed skin of her shoulder, slowly trailing his lips up to her neck. My mother’s eyelids fell closed, head tilted back. Her hands rested on my father’s on her stomach, the gorgeous smile on her lips widening.
“They loved each other so much,” I whimpered, reliving every feeling, every moment of that day. “I miss them, Harry,” I sobbed.
“I know, Rosie. I know.”
Silence lingered in the air around us, Harry giving me time to silently grieve, to remember the best moments of my childhood, feeling loved, adored. I sniffled quietly, not knowing that this meditation session would be so emotional.
“Now, Rosie,” Harry spoke sensitively. “Feel yourself slowly drift from that moment. Run forward a year, then another, and another…”
The picture gradually disappeared from my mind, leaving an empty space in my head, so cold, so alone. I focused on Harry’s voice, feeling myself grow older, muscles stretching, bones growing.
“Now stop,” Harry said. “Where are you now, Rosie? Tell me what you see.”
“I…” I stumbled, the mist dissolving from my mind. A large house loomed over me, the field I stood in so empty, no life, just space. “I’m…at my new house. I’m out of the foster home now after my parents passed away. A family had adopted me from the foster home.”
“What was it like there?” Harry quizzed me.
My face scrunched up in disgust, tension building in my muscles once more.
“Keep your breathing steady, Rosie,” Harry told me. “Tell me what it was like there.”
“Horrible,” I spat, nose creased in loathing towards that place.
“Rosie, your breathing,” Harry warned.
I’d realised my breaths had quickened, my lungs releasing the air as soon as it was sucked in. I heard long breaths taken in through Harry’s mouth, urging me to do the same. I let the tension drop from my muscles, imitating Harry’s actions.
After several moments of long breaths taken in and out of us, I had finally relaxed.
“You feeling okay now?” Harry’s worried voice asked.
I nodded, feeling determined to keep my eyes shut, to continue the session.
I could hear the smile in Harry’s voice, dimples probably indented in his cheeks. I kept that new picture in my head, feeling the same as when remembering my first memory. Happiness. I’d finally found it again. With Harry.
“Let’s continue,” Harry’s calming voice told me. “Now, why was this place horrible, Rosie?”
“The people who’d adopted me, they were awful to me,” I muttered, straining my muscles to relax, but it wasn’t helping.
“Relax your body, Rosie. You’re tensing up.”
I nodded, focusing my mind on Harry’s soft voice as he attempted to calm me with soothing words. I finally trusted myself to continue, wanting to get this secret off of my chest.
“My so called ‘dad’ beat me, and his son, he hit me as well,” I spoke lowly.
I was shocked how my muscles stopped throbbing, no longer wishing to stretch, grow out of control. I enjoyed this power I possessed over myself, even if it wouldn’t last very long.
“And my ‘mother’, she was nothing compared to my real mother. She gave me no affection, no kisses goodnight, no Round and Round the Garden.”
I forced myself to stay calm, using all my self-control to do so. As I thought back to those horrific days with that family I realised I had always craved love, but I was never given it.
“I used to get angry easily,” I continued. “I was just getting used to my abilities, taking them out on the only people I could. I never went to school. I was stuck in that house all day with them.”
“Did you ever have the urge to…you know…” His voice trailed off, but I knew what he meant nonetheless.
“Yeah,” I muttered. “A lot. But I found a way to stop myself.”
“What was it?” Harry asked.
A small smile appeared on my lips, picturing the moments I had away from everyone else, just myself. Alone.
“I would go up onto the roof of the house,” I told him, my eyes still closed. “The view of the city and the people living their lives happily would always calm me. It was an escape from my life, like a little window into how my life used to be.”
“Good,” Harry spoke. “Now I want you to pick a part of this view, one specific building or area that you enjoyed the most.” He paused, waiting for me to choose. There were so many parts to it, tall office building, schools and shops that every day people would visit. But one stood out the most.
“Got it?” Harry eventually asked.
“Yeah,” I whispered, grinning to myself.
“Keep that in your head; remember every little detail of that place or area. Do that for me, Rosie.”
I did as I was instructed, really feeling like I was there on that roof, looking out at that one building. It was the smallest in the town, but always my favourite.
“Now tell me what it was. I want to know every detail. What are you thinking of?”
“A cottage,” I mumbled.
“Good. What did it look like?”
“It was small,” I continued. “The smallest in the whole town. It had a thatched roof with vines on the side walls. It had thick hedges were around the entrance to the front path. There was a red front door designed for much smaller people. I loved this place, Harry.”
“Who lived there?”
“I never knew,” I confessed. “I never saw anyone in there, but flowers were always planted and watered every week. But I never knew who that person was.”
“Why this specific place, Rosie?” I was questioned.
A long pause followed the query. I nibbled at my bottom lip, focusing back on my steady breathing once more.
“I…” I started, but shook my head, feeling stupid for telling him this. He would have thought of me as a baby, a little girl even.
“You can tell me, Rosie.”
I heard him shuffle closer to me, a warm palm resting on my shin. A shaky breath fell from my parted lips, finally trusting Harry enough to tell him.
“I used to pretend that it was my house,” I murmured. “I prayed every night that I would leave this house and live in a place just like that.”
A long, awkward pause followed, his hand still resting on my leg. I felt stupid for telling him. I was only a child. I knew nothing of the real world.
“It’s stupid, I know,” I muttered, letting my head hang. “It was a pathetic dream. I was just a child living in this imaginary world. I was an idiot.”
“Rosie,” Harry warned, squeezing my leg his hand was still on. “It wasn’t stupid. It proves you have an imagination. I quite like that in a person.”
I grinned madly at his flirtatious tone, keeping my eyes closed throughout. He squeezed my leg once more before withdrawing his touch, relaxing into his position once more.
“Now finally I want your mind to drift to the worst memory you have. Picture it vividly, feel the emotions inside you.”
As soon as his voice stopped, my mind was bombarded with pictures and clips of parts of my life. So many bad memories to choose from, each one making my heart ache.
“This may be hard, Rosie. But stay focused. I know you’re strong enough to do this.”
“Th-there’s too much, Harry,” I whimpered, features creasing up in agony at these images. “It’s hurting, Harry. It’s hurting too much.”
My brain throbbed, an agonised grunt hissing out through my gritted teeth. Each image crashed into me, feeling as though the wind was being knocked out of my trembling body. My breathing increased, each muscle in my once relaxed body now tense with fury.
“Rosie,” Harry called. “Keep going. I know you can do this. Concentrate on just one.”
“But it’s burning, Harry,” I sobbed.
The pain was intensifying to an excruciatingly painful state. My mind refused to let me choose a memory, but I quickly realised what each one linked to, the one man that had ruined my life.
His devilish smirk beamed in my mind, overshadowing the pictures and words building up inside. His laugh bounced off of the inside of my skull, ringing in my throbbing ears.
“Stay with me, Rosie,” Harry said.
My head suddenly flung back, a long painful scream escaping my dry lips towards up to the ceiling. My eyes refused to open, this torture forcing me to listen to his laughter, to watch as he killed my mother.
“No!” I screamed.
My muscles stretched inside of me. My head tilted forward, my breaths sharp, jagged. The beast, it was ripping through my flesh, Samuel in clear control of me now.
“Rosalie!” Harry ordered. Warmth hit my cheeks, his large hands pressed to them. “Stay focused. You’re so close. Find that one memory and destroy it!”
His thumbs rubbed at my cheeks. I could feel his eyes watching me intently, mine still glued shut.
“Harry, I’m scared.” I sobbed. “Stop this pain, Harry. Please.”
“Harry, I’m scared. Stop this pain, Harry. Please.”
Rosalie’s weak pleading clenched at my heart. I thought she was ready for this. But I had pushed her too far. Now all of this pain was because of me.
I watched she focus on her memories during this session. It shocked me how much stress she was constantly carrying on her shoulders, memories following her wherever she went. I wanted to take it all from her, let her live a peaceful life. But I had no idea how to. I was useless.
“Harry, what do I do?” Rosalie asked frantically. “He’s here…in my mind...never letting me go.”
“Rosie, you’re gonna have to relax for me. Focus your attention on my voice. Feel yourself slowly calm down, gradually letting go of these memories. Let your mind go blank and then you’ll be back with me.”
“I…I don’t think I can, Harry,” she whimpered, shaking her head in my grip.
“Yes you can,” I replied sternly.
I believed in her and most of all I trusted her. The skin on her cheek burned at my palm, but I ignored the pain attacking my hands and focused on getting Rosalie out of this unhurt.
My mind spun to all the times this had happened before. But it was different this time. I could normally sooth her with my touch or words, but this time she was in some sort of trace. I couldn’t reach her. So I had to let her come to me.
“Rosalie, you told me of the view from the roof, how it always calmed you. Now I want you to use it again. Focus your thoughts onto that time, feeling calm, having your own space. Rosalie!”
A whimper fell from her plump lips before her body gradually slouched. I watched as each feature to her face gradually calmed, her skin cooling under my hands.
“Good, baby. Now picture the view, the lights of this city, the tall buildings standing proud…”
“I can see it, Harry,” Rosalie spoke softly. “I’m there again, on the roof.”
“Well done. Don’t let it go. Keep it with you as I gently move you back.”
Rosalie nodded slowly, her fists unclenching on his knees. With my hands still cradling her head, I gently pushed her back to lie down on the floor of the ring. Her upper body landed onto the ground, her legs weakening as they unbent. I lowered her head to the floor before shuffling to her legs, gently tugging on her ankles to straighten her knees.
“Well done, Rosie,” I whispered as I sat beside her. “You’re almost there. Keep your focus on my voice. Just reach out and touch me. You’re so close to me, Rosie. I can feel it. Come back to me. I need you.”
I gazed down at her still body lying on the floor, her lips parted, eyes remaining closed. I brushed my fingertips down his cheek. Her skin had cooled considerably, her features now fully relaxed.
A smile broke out on my face as her eyelids fluttered open, blinking rapidly up to me.
“Harry?” she croaked.
I cupped her chin softly, gazing down at her vulnerable state spread out over the floor.
“Yeah, Rosalie. I’m here,” I whispered.
“I was so scared, Harry,” she sobbed, tears springing to her eyes. “It hurt so much.”
“I’m so sorry, Rosie,” I muttered my touch leaving her chin to brush back the hair adorning her forehead. “I thought you were ready. But you weren’t. I’m sorry.”
Rosalie attempted to prop herself up onto her elbows, grunting weakly as she did so. Pain etched her face at this one simple task. I quickly scooped her up in my arms and cradled her aching body to my chest. She wrapped her arms around my neck, weakly resting her head on my shoulder.
“Let’s get you home, baby,” I whispered before carrying her back to the changing rooms.