After we’d eaten the last of the Domino’s pizza Harry had ordered, I collapsed onto the sofa heavily from spending most of the evening sat between Harry’s legs on the floor up against the sofa. My body was sprawled out across it, hands crossed behind my head. A shadow soon cast over me. I peeked up at the tall frame leaning over me, Harry chewing on a mouth full of pizza.
Before I could stop him, he climbed on top of me, his shirtless form laid out on top of my bloated body. I grunted with a grin as Harry wriggled on top of me to emphasise he was trying to get comfy before finally swallowing the pizza in his mouth.
I smiled down at him as he pressed his ear into the top of my chest. I buried my hand into the hair on his head, twisting curls around my finger.
“You were so good with Joe today,” Harry finally mumbled, his head still resting on my chest. “He really likes you.”
I grinned to myself. I think we understood each other. We knew what it was like to be pushed out from everyone else. I admired Joe’s courage to continue the classes, to put up with the taunting to build up his strength. It showed he had stamina. I was glad for him.
“He’s a good kid,” I muttered, aimlessly weaving my fingers through Harry’s curls.
“I’d love to have kids one day,” Harry suddenly spoke.
My fingers abruptly stopped in his hair, my body quickly growing tense under his. Harry’s head shot up from my chest, trying to catch my gaze.
I nibbled at my bottom lip, trying to ignore Harry shuffling up my body. I wanted kids too, but I’d always pushed the thought away. Like I said before, kids are vulnerable. I could have crushed that kid’s hand today with one swift action. I didn’t want to imagine what I could do to a new born child. So fragile, so delicate. I’d gotten close to seriously hurting a child once. I didn’t want it happening again.
“Rosie... Rosie, look at me.”
I finally complied, letting our gaze meet. He gave me a calming smile, his head hovering above mine.
“I realise you’re hesitant towards kids,” Harry spoke softly. “Why?”
I lowered my gaze until my eyelids fell closed. My chest rose and fell heavily as I let a long sigh escape through my lips. I wanted to forget it. I never wanted to speak about it again. I went too far. I hurt him. He wouldn’t stop pestering me.
“I’ve never told anyone before,” I finally whispered, teary eyes opening to gaze up at Harry. He remained silent, keeping the strong eye contact between us, showing me I had his full attention. So I started my story.
“When my home life got too much for me, I used to help Niall babysit his little brother. He was still living with his parents at the time. I spent the night there one time, but I got into a huge row with Niall. I can’t even remember what it was about. It was stupid. I’d overreacted to something...”
“I don’t give a fuck if she’s just a friend!” I screamed. “I don’t like her. And I don’t want you seeing her again.”
“I can’t believe how unreasonable you’re being,” Niall retaliated. “She’s an old school friend. We were having a laugh before you barged in!”
I’d just walked in on Niall sitting cosily next to this girl on the sofa. I could tell straight away she liked Niall. She had her hand on Niall’s thigh, laughing and joking with him. They were looking after Niall’s little brother together. I thought that was for me and Niall. Not this girl.
“I don’t trust her,” I argued back. “I saw the way she was looking at you.”
“I don’t need this!” Niall screamed before storming out of the kitchen.
“Niall had stormed upstairs,” I continued in the sofa with Harry. “I was left alone in the kitchen...”
I was left in the middle of the room, chest heaving, angry tears in my eyes. I screamed out, kicking the cupboard door under the sink before burying my face into my hands. I grunted furiously, my jealousy and rage taking over my actions. The feeling filled me with dread, but I couldn’t do anything about it. Heated tingles ran across my skin, my body sweaty and hot.
“That’s when Niall’s little brother came into the room.”
“Rosie?” a small voice asked.
“He was so small, only about four or five.”
I spun around angrily, rage filled eyes locking with Niall’s little brother. He had his favourite teddy in his hand, thumb leaning out of his mouth as he spoke. Tears sprung to his eyes once his gaze met mine.
“I don’t like it when you two fight,” he sobbed, drops trickling down his cheeks.
But my rage discarded the scared look in his eye, the trembling of his small voice. I no longer cared about his feelings. I glared down at his tiny body, so fragile, easily breakable.
“He kept begging me to make up with Niall. He was tugging on my skirt. I tried ignoring him, but he started to cry. A lot.”
He pulled at my skirt, fisting the material in his small hand. His head tilted up to gaze at me, tears dripping down his face. I tried to shrug him off, but he wouldn’t let me. More tears ran down his cheeks, the sight making me feel fury instead of sympathy.
“I got angry at him. He soon burst into a full tantrum. I prayed that Niall would come down and take him away, but he didn’t. His little brother was screaming and hitting his fists against my legs. I was already fuming at Niall and having a child continuously hassling me only got me angrier.”
I finally cracked. I screamed out, shoving at the small boy’s shoulders. He stumbled back with shock, landing heavily on the floor. My chest was heaving. I couldn’t stop myself. My muscles were ripping inside me. I wanted to release this energy, believing the pain, the sense of loss would get easier. But it never does.
I watched with blazing eyes as Niall’s brother shakily pushed himself back up to his feet. He was weeping, shaking from the shock of the fall. His teddy had fallen to his feet, tears staining his red cheeks. He was crying heavier, the noise ringing in my ears. I didn’t know what to do. Niall had stormed out, furious at me because I wanted to protect him. I didn’t want that girl getting near Niall. My mind told me not to trust her.
Everything had gotten too much for me. I didn’t know I had done it until it was over. By now I had lost all control. I went too far and...
“I struck him,” I mumbled.
“Shut up!” I screamed. “Just shut up!”
My arm raised in the air, my palm slashing across the young boy’s face. His head shot to the side, a whimper forced from him with the impact of the hit. A moment of dreadful silence passed us before a weak sob burst from him. My anger had fizzled away by now, tears thickening in my eyes at the sight of the small boy I had struck. I didn’t mean to do it.
I stepped closer to the little boy, mumbling his name apologetically. He glanced up at me before grabbing his teddy from the floor and dashing out of the room, weeping as he left.
“Niall never found out, “I mumbled. “I guess his brother was too scared to say anything. Niall and I soon got over our argument and it was never mentioned again. But the image of his little brother’s red cheek where I’d slapped him will always be in my mind, reminding me what a monster I am. That’s why I’m hesitant towards kids. They’re so weak compared to my abilities. I hurt people. That’s all I ever do. I always hurt people.”
Harry was worryingly silent above me. His eyes had fallen closed when I’d told him I’d slapped Niall’s little brother and they hadn’t opened since.
“Harry,” I whispered. “Harry, please. Say something.”
His eyes finally fluttered open. They barely made contact with mine before he lowered his head, burying his face into the crook in my neck. My heart sank as his eyes let go of mine. He remained still on top of me, the silence between us unbearable. I deeply regretted telling him. I know how much he loves working with kids and having his own one day would make his dreams come true. I seemed to be the wall to each of his goals. Whenever he wanted to do something, I’d push him back; I’d stop him from doing what he wants. I’m dragging him back, holding him up from living his life. I’m just a burden.
“I’m going to bed,” Harry barely muttered, silently climbing off of me. His muscled torso rose from mine, straddling me. I grabbed both his wrists, tugging on them like a child.
He twisted his wrists from my grip, still refusing to look me in the eye. My heart ached in my chest. I was scaring him off. I gazed up at him, Harry’s chin resting on his chest. My skin shivered with the lack of contact I had with Harry. I didn’t mean to do it. It was this beast, always this beast.
I lifted my torso from the sofa, my bare chest softly meeting his. Harry sat back slightly, leaning away from me. I grasped Harry’s head in my hands, tilting his head up.
“Look at me.”
His eyes met mine for a brief second before he closed them, shielding me out.
My thumb raised to his eyelid, gently trying to pry open his eye.
“I said no, Rosalie!”
The harshness in his tone stung me. I let go of his head, allowing him to silently climb back off of me. He kept his head down, gaze low as shuffled away from me. I reached out to grab his hand, but as soon as my skin made contact with his, he yanked his hand away. Harry briefly glanced at me over his shoulder. Our eyes met and all I could see was the disappointment he had towards me. It broke my heart.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered.
I slowly reached out, placing a warm hand in his. A small smile flickered on my lips as Harry let me touch him. His gaze remained on my hand holding his, his lip wedged between his teeth. I gently tugged him towards me and Harry complied, taking a step closer to me. I guided Harry between my open thighs, his other side clasped as well in my hand. He stood between my legs, curls flopping over his face as if shielding his eyes from my own.
I swiped back his dark locks before letting my touch run down the side of his face. Harry leaned into my touch slightly, a corner of his mouth twitching. I curled my finger under his chin, angling Harry’s head up slightly so I could meet his gaze. His orbs locked with my own, causing his body to weaken before me. His full lips parted, my name tumbling from his mouth in shaky whispers. He looked as though his knees would buckle any second. I clasped his sides and gently guided his shaking body to sit next to me on the sofa. I climbed onto his lap, sitting sideways on his thighs. His head landed heavily onto my shoulder, warm breath fanning out across the skin of my neck as he sighed. This innocent boy looked so lost, so in need of guidance and options. But I couldn’t give them to him.
“I’m losing you, aren’t I?” I whispered.
Harry head lifted from my shoulder. I swiped the dark curls from his face before cupping his chin softly.
“I’m losing my angel.”
“No you’re not.”
His firm words shocked me slightly, but I knew I was losing him. He’s drifting from me slowly. I can feel it.
“This is so fucked up,” I whispered, tears running down my cheeks.
I wrapped my arms around his waist, my head resting on his shoulder. I sobbed weakly, feeling Harry’s arms wrap around me to hold me closer.
“You’re not losing me, Rosie,” Harry whispered. “I won’t let that happen. I’ll stay with you no matter what life throws at us. It was just scary thinking that you could ever do that to a child.”
“I’m so sorry,” I sobbed, hating what I am. I squeezed him tightly, tears dampening his bare shoulder. I left wet, apologetic kisses across his skin and up to his neck. “I need to know I still have you,” I sobbed into his neck, “that you won’t leave me. I need to know you love me.”
Harry’s arms unwrapped from around me. He held my head in his hands, brushing away my lingering tears. He held a strong face just for me, but I knew he was slowly breaking down inside. I am a burden to him.
“You know the answer to that yourself, Rosalie,” Harry muttered.
I let a weak smile creep onto my face. He was right. I did.
“Say it,” I whispered. “Harry, say it.”
He rubbed his thumbs on my cheeks, bringing my head closer to him. Our lips grazed against each other’s, hot breath fanning out across my skin.
“I love you,” he whispered.
A rush of affection washed through my heart. The corners of my mouth curled up in pleasure, such simple pleasure of sitting on Harry’s lap, his mouth so close to mine. We knew nothing more could happen, so I savoured every second of this moment. Here, with the love of my life.
“I love you too.”
Harry grinned before pressing a warm kiss to my forehead, setting off sparks of warmth through my body.
“It’s been a long day,” Harry whispered. “Let’s go to bed.”
As we laid in the sweet silence around us, cuddled close in bed together, I gazed up at the ceiling. I gradually felt my eyelids grow heavy, Harry’s head resting on my chest. His curls tickled under my chin, the sensation like nothing I’d felt before. It was a simple touch. Simple, but perfect.
My eyes fell closed, but I held onto my grin, never letting it fade. Harry’s bare legs were intertwined with mine, the only cloth between us being his boxers and a pair of Harry’s shorts he let me wear. It was hard for me to be so intimate with him, but I tried my best not to let my mind think about Harry’s legs against mine, his crotch incredibly closer to my own. Harry traced the figure eight with his fingertip on my covered stomach, humming softly to himself. I buried my hand into his curls, the claws of my dreams trying to drag me away from reality. But I knew if I had my nightmares Harry would be here to comfort me.
The shapes traced on my skin gradually slowed down. I thought Harry had gone to sleep once he’d stopped humming as there was a long silence between us.
“Rosie, there’s something I need to know,” Harry’s croaky voice blurted out.
His head tilted up, such severity in his eyes. I remained silent, urging him to continue. He swallowed hard before doing exactly that.
“I need to know if you meant to do it, what you did to that little boy. Did you want to hit him?”
My face remained still to his question for a moment before my lips parted to blurt out a thousand words on how much I didn’t mean to do it, that it was a mistake. But I’d spent so much time pleading to be forgiven. Harry knew me too well to not know the answer for himself.
I kept the strong connection between us, eyes locked. I ran my fingers through his curls, my features still with such seriousness.
“No,” I whispered.
That’s all I needed to say. I didn’t need to try and convince Harry that I never wanted to hurt the little boy. He knew. He understood me. That’s all I needed.
Harry’s face finally relaxed into a small grin. “Good,” he whispered.
His head lowered back down to my chest. As I stared up at the ceiling, feeling Harry’s body gradually relax on mine, I told myself we would be okay. Everything would be fine. As I finally drifted off into a world full of darkness and loss, I heard Harry mumble for the last time that night, circling me in warmth and protection.
“You have me, Rosalie. Forever.”