I hid in a cluster of trees in the park, watching this woman pace up and down on the band stand, checking her watch every few moments. She must be the woman Harry was meeting. She was quite a bit older than Harry. She wore a sharp business suit with extremely high heels, her blonde hair tied back tightly into a ponytail. A phone was pressed to her ear, dark designer sunglasses resting on her nose. I took a deep breath before marching up to the band stand, ready to confront her.
Confusion contorted her features as I quickly approached her. She looked over the top of her sunglasses to me, her eyes wandered up and down my body, pulling a face at the sweaty state I was in. I crossed my arms over my chest, but I shook inside. Maybe I didn’t want to hear where Harry was. If I heard from a complete stranger that Harry was with another girl, it would tear me apart.
“Can I help you?” she asked irritably, shoving the phone back in her pocket. She pushed her sunglasses back up her nose, taking a step back from me as if she was worried I’d touch her designer suit.
I cleared my throat, thinking of the best way to start. I had thought of a million things to say to her on the way here, but the words spun in my head.
“I haven’t got all day,” she sighed. “Look if you’re wasting my time then…”
“I’m not,” I said frantically. Her eyebrows rose, arms crossed over her chest. “I’m here about Harry.”
A wide grin spread across the woman’s lips. Her arms relaxed back to her sides as her whole posture calmed at hearing Harry’s name. Her reaction worried me.
“Ah, Harry,” she finally spoke, taking her dark shades off, revealing bright blue eyes to me. The woman held the glasses tightly in her hand, eyes wandering up and down my body again. “He’s a lovely man. I’m meant to be meeting him any minute.”
She checked the watch on her left wrist, sighing irritably at the time. “It’s not like him to be late.”
“Have you met him before then?” I asked warily, trying to get any information out of her before Harry arrived.
“We’ve spoken on the phone a few times,” she muttered suspiciously, staring at me through narrowed eyes.
“Why are you meeting him?” I took a step closer, feeling my hands shake by my sides. The woman took a wary step back from me, refusing to catch my intent gaze.
“I’m sorry,” she said professionally. “I can’t give out any personal information. Who are you?”
“Rosalie,” I said quickly, watching as the colour drained from his cheeks.
She stepped back until her back crashed into one of the pillars of the stand. My body grew cold at her response, my worries for Harry rising by the second.
“Y-you’re Rosalie?” she asked. Fear sparkled in her blue eyes, her professional persona now disappearing.
“Yeah, why?” I asked, quickly approaching her. “Look, I just want to know where Harry is. I’m worried about him. Just tell me why you’re meeting up with him. Please.”
“Look, I can’t tell you anything,” she tried saying causally, returning to her professional state again. She coughed awkwardly, petit hands flattening down her jacket. She spun around and took her phone back out of her pocket. My anger rose at his closed off behaviour. A low growl emanated from me, but a familiar figure appeared from the cluster of trees, a phone grasped tight in his large hands. Shock filled my entirety as I watched Harry slowly approach the stand. His dark curls fell around his face, thumbs working like mad at the screen. I patted my tracksuit pocket. I had Harry’s phone on me. So what phone was that?
Harry’s legs picked up speed, quickly marching over to us. I cursed under my breath. Before he could see me, I spun around, jumping down from the platform of the band stand. I ran across the grass, praying in my head that Harry hasn’t recognised me.
I finally got to the café across the grass. I slipped through the door, finding a table near the window. I gazed through the glass, watching Harry jump up onto the band stand. He strode over to her, leaning over her only slightly shorter frame, his brow furrowed darkly. But the awkward tension soon disappeared, Harry and the woman embracing each other intimately. My eyes widened, heart rate increasing. They were close. Too close. I felt my fist subconsciously clench on the table, teeth gritted in my mouth. I watched in pure rage as Harry’s hands lifted, placing them over each of the woman’s cheeks. Their heads were brought closer, lips almost grazing. Soft words were mumbled between them. Tears filled my eyes at the sight. Harry was getting everything he wanted that I couldn’t give him. Affection.
And that broke my heart.
I strode over to meet Scarlett, slipping my spare phone into my jeans pocket. Nerves took over me all of a sudden. I hated going behind Rosalie’s back, meeting other people in private. I hated having secrets in a relationship, but surely there are exceptions. Well definitely in my situation anyway.
“You’re late,” Scarlett growled, arms crossed over her chest. I walked up to her, towering over her slightly. I returned his glare, chests almost touching.
“You sent the text to my other phone,” I retaliated. “I just got a call from Zoe telling me you were here waiting for me. So don’t moan at me for being late.”
We stood with each other, eyes locked. But as the smirk crept onto Scarlett’s lips my body relaxed, a cheeky grin spread over my face.
“It’s good to see you, gorgeous,” Scarlett laughed, offering me her hand. I flashed her a wink, taking her small hand in mine. She smiled at me, showing off her bright teeth as she pulled her hand back. “Oh, come here, Harry.” She flung her arms round me, tugging my body into hers. We laughed, hands rubbing backs, arms squeezing each other.
“It’s been years, gorgeous,” Scarlett spoke once she’d withdrawn. I grinned at her words, picturing the amazing times we had together. We had so much hassle at the time when it came out that we were in a relationship, since Scarlett was quite a bit older than me, but we overlooked that. I guess she was my first love.
I pressed my palms to her cheeks. Bringing her head to mine, I felt a corner of my mouth turn up, amusement sparkling in Scarlett’s eyes.
“Those were some good times, hun,” I muttered. “I missed you, babe.”
I rubbed one of his cheeks before pulling away from her soft skin. But I didn’t feel a thing when we touched. I had Rosalie now. She was the one that made my heart flutter, my legs feel weak. Scarlett and I had had some good times, but since I’d found Rosalie I’d only ever seen anyone else as a friend. And that’s what Scarlett was. A friend. An old friend.
“Don’t get all soppy on me, Harry,” she mocked. I laughed at her response. “Oh, I should tell you this now.” Scarlett hesitated, bottom lip taken between her teeth. “Rosalie was here.”
My body froze, eyes darting the space around us.
“Don’t worry. I think he’s gone,” Scarlett reassured.
“D-did you tell her anything?” I asked frantically, breaths puffed out quickly through my lips. My head was suddenly held in Scarlett’s hands, forcing my head back around to face her.
“Of course not. She knows nothing,” she reassured. I let out a long sigh of relief. Rosalie couldn’t know the reason for this meeting or any of the others I’ve had.
“Good,” I breathed, letting a smile relax on my lips.
“So what do you need me for?” Scarlett asked.
I tore my eyes from the intimate sight of my boyfriend with another woman, my head shooting around to face the voice. A young girl stood before me, an apron around her slim waist. Long blonde hair fell over her shoulders, a caring smile adorning her face.
“Can I get you anything?”
In her hands were a pad and a pen, her fingernails neatly polished a deep purple. A slim ring was worn on her thumb, her long fingers grasping the pen loosely.
“No, I’m fine,” I muttered, not being able to look her in the eye. I’ve killed so many innocent people just like her. All they wanted to do was help me, look after me. And I returned the favour by killing them. I was a beast.
Tears sprung to my eyes suddenly. I tried brushing them away before the young girl noticed. I cursed under my breath before feeling a warm hand to my shoulder. I gazed up at the girl, witnessing her calming smile and reassuring hazel eyes.
“You know, my mum always used to say to me ‘Gracie, whenever you feel down remember that there may be thousands of negatives in your life at one point, but there will always be that one positive that overrules them all.’”
I smiled weakly in response to her kind words. Her voice was so soft, so caring. I felt like I’ve known her for years. I watched through teary eyes as she perched on the chair opposite me, a soft hand covering mine on the table.
“Come on. You must have one positive in your life,” the girl encouraged, squeezing my hand.
I let a smile relax on my face. Of course I had a positive in my life. But that man was also a negative to me. I ran through the girl’s words again. One positive can overrule all the negatives.
“Yeah, there is actually,” I muttered, my eyes flickering up from her hand over mine. Our eyes met and my body instantly calmed. This girl gave off this feeling of pure relaxation.
“What is it?” she asked, searching my eyes with her own deep, brown orbs for the answer to her question. A wide grin took over my features, heat rushing to my cheeks. The girl’s head nodded silently, knowing exactly what I was thinking about. Love.
“His name’s Harry,” I mumbled, slipping my hand from under hers. I turned my head to one side, gazing back out at the window. Harry was sat up against one of the pillars in the stand with the woman, laughing and joking with him. She was sat too close to Harry, his arm casually around her neck. Her head leaning into his as they looked through Harry’s phone together. My fingers curled up into a ball on the table. The girl followed my gaze as the woman put her arm round his neck to ruffle his curls playfully. Harry shrugged away from her touch, but a wide grin was on his face nonetheless.
“What’s your name?”
I tore my eyes from the stomach twisting sight, attention focused back on the young waitress.
“What’s your name?” she asked again, squeezing my hand.
She offered her hand to me, waiting patiently for me to shake it. I hesitated and glanced back out the window. Should I accept her as a friend? Surely I’d be putting her in more trouble if I did. I shouldn’t have told her my name. I need to go.
My heart suddenly stopped in my chest. Harry had gotten up to his feet, offering the woman his hand. She took it without hesitation, letting Harry help her up. The woman pulled Harry closer to him, whispering words into his ear. Harry was a little taller than her so the woman had to balance on her toes. She leaned into Harry, whatever she was saying eliciting a warm, affectionate smile from my boyfriend. My emotions filled my eyes once more.
I quickly blinked them back, my gaze flickered down. With my stomach in a tight knot, I watched the woman’s fingers slip between Harry’s. I let my emotions get the better of me again, tears trickling down my cheeks. Anger simmered under my skin. As I watched from this café I began to feel just like I did when walking in on Zayn. Betrayed. And look what happened then.
There was a small hesitation before Harry eventually pulled his hand away, taking a step back. But he didn’t question what had happened, continuously listening to what the woman had to say. Harry finally nodded, letting the woman’s arm slip around his back. He helped her down from the band stand before they started to head this way. To the café.
I jumped up from my seat. The chair legs scraped on the floor, the young girl mirroring my actions.
“I need to go,” I told her, eyes scanning the room for an escape. The woman and Harry were half way across the grass, the front exit impossible to use without getting caught.
“There’s a back door through there,” the girl spoke, pointing to a door next to the counter. Harry’s laughter flew through the open door of the café, my body trembling at the thought of Harry seeing me here. I wanted to make a scene, accuse Harry of horrific things in front of everyone in this café, but my whole life I’ve been trying to keep a low profile. I couldn’t have anyone remember my face. I just wanted to be a nobody, a face you’d see walking past you down the street that you’ll forget seconds after. And by making a scene I would go against that instantly.
I darted over to the door, feeling the girl’s eyes on me the whole time. I spun back around, her face lighting up as our eyes met.
“What was your name again?” I asked, taking a small step closer to her. My eyes flickered over her shoulder, Harry a few yards from the entrance.
“It’s Grace,” she replied, a sweet smile adorning her lips.
“It was nice meeting you, Grace,” I spoke, giving her a small smile. I spun back around, shoving the door open, but Grace called me again.
I spun around.
“One other thing my mother once said to me,” she spoke. “‘There’s always someone in your life you can trust enough to love and love enough to trust.' Don’t let this man go, Rosalie,” she spoke softly. “I can see it in your eyes that you love him. Stay with him. It’s the best thing. Trust me.”
I took in her every word, replying with a small nod. The bell above the café door suddenly rang, Harry’s deep voice echoing in the small room. I gave Grace one final smile before darting out the back of the café, not forgetting her words as I made my way back home.