My eyes darted around me, a larger bloke quickly approaching Liam’s mum. He followed her gaze, his jaw dropping as our eyes met. They both looked so old, so weak. This is what I’ve done to them. I murdered their son. I’ve ruined their lives.
I quickly spun around as a small crowd had gathered around us. I ran, Liam’s mum screaming painfully behind me. I twisted my head around to find Liam’s mum on her knees, sobbing loudly into her hands. My heart was ripping in my chest, his mum’s words following me wherever I went.
“My baby,” she screamed. “I want my baby back!”
“Hey,” Harry spoke casually, clutching several pairs of jeans in his hand as I quickly approached him. But his face fell at the sight of me, tears staining my cheeks, my skin as pale as snow. The jeans fell from his grip, his hands squeezing my upper arms.
“W-we need to go,” I sobbed, feeling my legs about to collapse under me any second. I quickly grabbed Harry’s arm, tugging him roughly down the aisle towards the exit when a deep bellow came from behind us. Our heads shot around to find Liam’s dad marching after us, rage contorting his features.
“Rosie, what the hell is going on?” Harry asked, wrenching his arm from my grip.
“Harry, please,” I pleaded, tightly gripping his hand. Tears were streaming down my face, Liam’s dad quickly approaching us. “We need to run.”
Harry caught my gaze, showing him how scared I was. My whole body shook with fright, never thinking I would see his parents ever again. But I never left. Normally I would run to another small town. But I didn’t after what happened to Liam. Because I met Harry.
“Please,” I whispered, squeezing his hand.
Harry glanced behind us one more time before we sped off, Harry dragging me along with him. I knew I owed him an explanation, but my only concern was to get away without getting caught. Liam’s dad stormed after us down the street, bellowing threats and swear words after us. Harry’s legs picked up speed, his hand tightly locked in mine as we ran. The tears ran down my pale cheeks, none of this sinking in yet. I was so stupid. Why wasn’t I more cautious going out in public? We were living in the same town. Of course we’d see each other again.
The shouting behind us finally died down as we sped down the street. I twisted my head around, gaze connecting with Liam’s dad. He was finally letting us go ahead, coughing and spluttering down between his bent legs, hands resting on his thighs.
“Come on, Rosie,” Harry ordered.
I turned my head back around, knocking shoulders with someone as Harry led me down the street. We took a swift corner, my arm being tugged on as Harry ran with me.
I didn’t know where he was leading me to, but I trusted him so I let him take me wherever he wanted. I tried fighting away the urge to use my speed, knowing Harry had no chance of catching up if I did. But the more we ran, the more I wanted to let it out. I could feel the energy bubbling up inside of me, about to flow over the edge.
“Stop,” I panted, tugging back Harry’s arm. “I-I can’t go any further. Not without this beast getting control.”
Harry opened his mouth to protest, but he knew all too well not to. He watched me try and control myself again, his warm hand squeezing my shoulder softly. Once my breathing was back to normal, Harry put his arm round my waist.
“You okay?” he whispered down to me.
I nodded silently, receiving a relived smile from Harry before he gently led me down the road. I let him take me wherever he wanted to. I trusted him.
Harry kept glancing down at me as we walked, leaving soft kisses to the side of my head every so often. He was making sure I was okay. He had no idea what was going on in the shop, but he trusted me enough to help me and get me out of there. It showed me how real this trust was that we had.
As we silently strolled down the road as we believed we were safe from Liam’s parents once again, our thoughts occupied by what had just happened moments ago, it soon came clear as to where Harry was taking me to.
Harry guided me into the park, taking the path leading around the outside. Harry tugged me further into him, wanting as much of us to touch as possible. I let him lead me into the park, feeling my heartbeat slowly calming in my chest. I let out long breaths to relax, picturing the view out on the roof. I stared down at my feet, Harry squeezing my side every few seconds in reassurance. He murmured something lowly into my ear, but I wasn’t concentrating. Instead I was focusing on the muscles in my body, controlling them to relax, to form back to their original shape.
Suddenly the ring of a bell above my head caught my attention. I looked up to find Harry had led me into the café in the park. I was gently put down onto a chair, Harry taking a seat the other side of the square table. A hand was placed over my hand on the table, a comforting silence between us. He didn’t press me with any questions. He must have guessed it had something to do with my past, so he let me speak in my own time.
“I was getting a pair of shoes,” I finally stuttered, lifting my gaze to meet Harry’s. “I bumped into this woman by accident. I didn’t recognise her at first. She just stared at me as if she’d seen a ghost. She looked so old since I last met her only a few weeks back before-”
My voice drifted away, tears running down my cheeks. My hand was squeezed, Harry’s other hand softly stroking my cheek. I took my quivering bottom lip between my teeth, my hand shaking under Harry’s.
“She was Liam’s mum,” I whispered. “They’ve found me.”
“So we meet again.”
A voice suddenly spoke from above us, interrupting our intimate moment.
“Rosalie is it?”
My gaze shot up to the young waitress stood over us, a sweet grin on her lips. I just stared blankly up to her, watching her soft features fall at the sight of me. Grace’s eyes soon flickered to Harry, the warm smile returning to her lips.
“Oh, this must be…”
“Harry, this is Grace,” I interrupted, shooting the waitress an angered look. I quickly shook my head at her, not wanting a confirmation that I was here yesterday watching Harry and that woman. Harry never saw me so it’s best he doesn’t know.
“Oh right,” Grace muttered. “Sorry.”
Harry shot me a confused look as he awkwardly shook hands with the young girl. Grace kept glancing over to me, nibbling at her plump bottom lip.
“Would you like anything?” she finally asked, breaking the awkward silence lingering around us.
“No, thanks,” I replied, Harry just shaking his head as Grace’s gaze fell upon him. But her eyes wouldn’t let him go, taking in each feature of his face. A wave of nerves crashed inside of me as I watched Grace bent down to him, finally catching his gaze.
“Rosalie seems like a special girl,” she muttered down to him. “So don’t mess her around. Any person would kill to have someone like Rosalie. Don’t let he slip away from you.”
As soon as she finished, she quickly scarpered, leaving a stunned Harry sat there in front of me. Her stern words caught us both by surprise. She barely knew me, but she was so kind to me the other day. I didn’t argue with her.
“What was she talking about?” Harry suddenly asked. “Does she know me or something?”
I shook my head slowly, staring down at his hand still over mine on the table. It was sweet she was sticking up for me. We’d both witnessed Harry getting too intimate with another woman yesterday. She was only defending me, but she knew nothing about the situation. I still didn’t know who that woman was or why Harry was seeing her but I trusted Harry, didn’t I?
I kept Grace’s words in my mind from yesterday.
“There’s always someone in your life you can trust enough to love and love enough to trust.”
“Is there something I don’t know? Rosie, what are you not telling me?”
Harry voice was frantic, his eyes deeply searching mine for an answer.
“It’s nothing,” I mumbled, glancing at Grace over Harry’s shoulder. I gave her a warm smile before she turned to another customer. But the more I thought about meeting Liam’s parents again, the more it took the smile from my face. My gaze finally returned to Harry’s worried face, deep eyes searching mine. “Maybe I should have turned myself in,” I finally mumbled, the thought flashing my mind. “They’ve found me. They know where I am now. I’m done, Harry.”
“No, Rosie,” I was told sternly, my hand squeezed tightly. “We’ll get through this. I don’t want to do this again, Rosie. The feeling of losing you, of being on my own scares me, Rosie. Please, just stop this.”
“I hate myself,” I spat, bowing my head. “I murdered their only son. I’ve ruined their lives, Harry. And I’m going to have to live with that for the rest of my life, for centuries. Forever.”
“Rosie, listen to me. I don’t want you talking like this…”
“I can’t cope much longer, Harry,” I interrupted. “Just seeing their scared, tired faces again. It tore my heart apart. I owe them this, Harry. I’ll go to the police station and tell them everything.”
I jumped up from my seat, hearing it scrape back behind me. The guilt was getting to me again. Last time I wanted to hand myself in, I decided against it. But my options were limiting. It wasn’t safe for me to be in a small prison cell. I could lash out at any moment. But I believe I’ve had enough training now to control it. I just hope I did anyway.
Harry soon mirrored my actions, reaching out across the table to grab my hand.
“Let’s go home,” Harry stuttered. “We can talk there.”
“I don’t want to drag this out anymore, Harry. I have to do this. I have to say goodbye to you.”
“I thought you loved me, Rosalie Brookes!” Harry yelled, tearing his hand away from mine.
Heads turned in our direction, the whole café silent.
“Don’t, Harry. Not here,” I mumbled, staring down at the ground in embarrassment.
“I don’t care!” he screamed. “I’m not ashamed of saying how I feel. I’m not letting you go like this, Rosalie. You mean so much to me. I’ve never felt like this before. You’ve brought excitement and joy to my life and you want to walk out just like that? You told me this morning it was you and I forever! I’ve believed in you since day one. You are not a quitter! And I know that you love me as much as I love you. Don’t do this, Rosie. I need you, you idiot!”
My lips parted in shock. I’d never heard Harry express himself this much. Harry gently took my hand in his, smiling weakly through the tears.
“Now I’ve got you listening to me,” he muttered, leaning slightly over the table to me. I noticed Grace over Harry’s shoulder, grinning madly at us. She flashed me a wink, silently telling me what I needed to understand.
She told me to stay with him. And I will.
“I love you, Rosie,” Harry muttered, slipping his fingers between mine. “Don’t let me go.”
The whole café was silent, listening intently to what I would say in response. The thoughts made my cheeks grow red, my body shaking.
“Who you calling an idiot?” I joked, swallowing down the sobs.
Harry let out a sigh of relief, placing a warm hand on my cheek.
“That’s what I wanted to see,” he whispered, most of the café turning away to continue their meals. “Your smile.”
He leaned over the table, planting a sweet kiss to my lips. It was short, but perfect.
“God, I thought this was goodbye,” he whispered shakily once he had withdrawn. “Don’t you ever scare me like that again, okay?”
I nodded silently, letting a smile light up my face.
“But, Harry,” I finally muttered. “This isn’t the end. We can’t just forget today happened. The police are still after me. I’m wanted. This is just the beginning.”