Another person was shaking me.
“Wake up! Wake up!”
I tried to open my eyes, but it took too much effort, and I found I couldn’t. I groaned, and my head fell to the side.
I felt the urge to laugh. Of course I am. The world can’t get rid of me that easily.
“Can you open your eyes, Broken Heart?”
Broken Heart… that means something. Why can’t I remember what it is? Broken Heart. Broken Heart was my nickname, wasn’t it? Wait, who called me Broken Heart? And what are they doing here? Broken Heart… Broken Heart?
My eyes shot open and I managed to sit up. “H-Harry?”
Two arms wrapped around me and held me tightly. “Oh my god. I thought I would never see you again. That note. I thought you were gone forever. I woke everyone up and was completely panicking. When I figured out you had taken your computer, we tracked you down whenever you were attached to Wi-Fi. Thank god you were with that last one so long or we might not have found you. I’m so glad you’re okay, Broken Heart.”
He pulled away and looked at me, but I was only half-conscious.
“H-help.” I whispered.
Harry’s smile dropped. “Oh, god. Come on.” He picked me up, and a dark figure picked up my stuff, following him. He slowed and turned sideways as we boarded a bus, but when we got inside, it was like a small house. Not a bus. The bus.
“She’s cold! She has hypothermia.” Harry said, setting me on the couch.
“Put her in a hot shower.” A female voice said.
“No! you aren’t supposed to do that. You could put her into shock. You have to warm her up slowly. We need to get her into warm clothes, or a bathrobe or something.”
“We have warm bathrobes in the bathroom.” Said the same female voice.
My eyes were closed by now, just listening to everything going on around me. I was out of it. I hardly recognized voices by now and even when I did, I could hardly make out the words.
“Broken Heart.” I heard, but it felt like I was underwater. “Hey, are you still with me? Broken Heart!”
I jerked awake. Light was shining through the windows and I was lying on the couch, wrapped in a warm, fluffy, white bathrobe.
I started to move, but then noticed Harry, sitting on the floor with his head resting on my stomach, asleep.
I smiled, and reached my hand down, a sudden desire to play with his fluffy curls. I ran my fingers through. They were soft and fluffy. He had the cleanest hair of any boy I had ever met.
He stirred, and his eyes cracked open. “B-Broken Heart?”
He jerked up. “You’re okay?” he felt my forehead with the back of his hand.
I laughed. “I don’t have a fever. I’m fine.”
“You’re always fine. Except when you are freezing to death out on the sidewalk.”
I grinned. “You know me so well.”
I looked around the bus. Irie was staring at me from the other couch, a blank expression on her face. No one else was here, except Niall, who was asleep in front of the door.
“I’m trying to figure out if Irie is asleep or not.” I told Harry.
She seemed to blink, then she stood and left.
My heart sank to my stomach. “Wonderful. I guess I don’t blame her for still being mad. It is my fau-”
Harry’s hand was in front of my mouth. “Don’t say that.” Anger shone in his eyes and I recoiled. His eyes immediately softened. “I’m sorry, Broken Heart. Just please. Stop blaming yourself. That note…”
“Forget about the note.”
“Never.” He said, and dug into his pocket. He pulled out a piece of paper, folded in half. “I think I love this note. And I’m going to keep it forever.”
I turned my head away. “Do what you like.”
Niall stirred on the floor. He sat up slowly, rubbing his eyes. He saw us, and his tired mouth fell open slightly. “Lyrica?”
“Morning, princess.” I said.
“Well I’m not sure anymore. This one,” I jerked my thumb at Harry. “Keeps calling me Broken Heart. I’m going through a bit of an identity crisis.”
Niall stood and came to sit by Harry. “So did Harry tell you yet?”
“Tell me what?” I asked, looking between the two.
Harry glared at Niall and Niall shied away, laughing. “Guess not.”
“Wait, what are you going to tell me?” I asked.
“Nothing. Go get dressed and we’ll go do something.”
I glared at him. “You better tell me while we’re out.” I got up and made my way to the back. But I turned around. “Uh, Harry? Who changed me into the bathrobe?”
He grinned. “You are way too innocent, Broken Heart.”
“That did not answer my question.”
He laughed again as I went to get clothes out of my bag. I pulled out a white tank top and rad plaid shirt. I went out on a limb and grabbed a pair of black shorts, and passed Irie on my way to the bathroom.
I got dressed, and looked at myself in the mirror. I hated the scar. I hated it more than anything in the world, besides my dad and the man who had taken me from the streets. I straightened the plaid shirt so it hung open and the sleeves were rolled up to my elbows. Brushing my hair out so the white locks cascaded down my back, I opened the door.
Irie looked up and a vaguely surprised expression crossed her face, but she shut down again.
“I still love you, Irie.” I told her, and didn’t wait for a response before I made my way to the front of the bus.
Harry and Niall sat on the couch, facing each other.
Niall saw me first and his mouth dropped open. He tapped Harry’s shoulder and made him turn around.
I looked down at my feet, attempting to hide my scar with my other leg by crossing it in front.
“You look so pretty.” Harry said, standing.
I dug the toe of my shoe into the carpet, and didn’t say anything.
He was looking at my leg now, and I turned away from him, so he couldn’t see.
“Broken Heart, please. It’s beautiful.” He took my hand and turned me to him. “It’s perfect.”
He shook his head. “Nothing about you is ugly.”
I didn’t know what to say. I stood there, speechless.
“Come on, Broken Heart. I want to take you out for ice cream.”
“Then will you tell me?”
He led me off the bus. We were parked on the street next to a small playground. Just up the road I could see a small ice cream sign hanging in a window.
“Harry? What were you doing for the three weeks I was gone?”
“Trying to find you.” He answered right away. “I was searching everywhere. And when Quarra found out you were gone, and Questa and Irie had told you to get out of here, she nearly came out of her hospital bed. She didn’t talk to Questa or Irie for more than a week and she’s still vexed with them.”
“Vexed. Vocab word of the day.” I said, grinning. “Oh, and I see you don’t take directions very well.”
“Oh please, did you really think I’m such a bad person that I wouldn’t look for you?”
“Honestly? I thought you might try. But I was so hoping you wouldn’t.”
“I would never let you leave like that. I still want to talk about your letter.”
“Of course you do. But I don’t. So we won’t.”
“You sure are stubborn, Broken Heart.”
“Yeah, it happens.” We entered the ice cream shop and I looked up at all the flavors. “Wow. I haven’t had ice cream in… years.”
Harry’s eyebrows went up. “Really? I have ice cream at least once a week. It’s a way of life for us.”
I turned my attention back to the board. “Coconut. I want coconut ice cream.”
“Coconut?” Harry shook his head. “That’s really weird.”
He grinned and shrugged. “So you want two scoops of that in a chocolate dipped waffle cone?”
“Uh, I guess, Mr. Fancy.”
“Great.” He went up to the counter and ordered for us. The rest of the parlor was empty so I sat down at a small two-person table near the window. A minute later, Harry sat down with our cones, handing me mine.
“What is that?” I asked, pointing to his read, green, and yellow ice-cream.
“Sour patch kids. Try some?” he asked, handing his cone to me.
“No, that’s okay.” I said, smiling slightly.
“Oh come on. Here, I’ll get you a spoon.” He grabbed a plastic spoon off the counter and dipped it into his cone, then holding it out for me.
“Fine but you have to try some of mine too.” I took the spoon, smiling and stuck it into my mouth. It was actually sour, and I felt my face screw up.
I removed the spoon and waved it at him. “That was really weird. Why would you get that kind of ice cream?”
“It’s yummy and different and I love it.” He snatched the spoon from my hand and dipped it into my ice cream, taking a small bit and tasting it.
“Uh, this has chucks of coconut in it.”
“Yeah. And it’s fantastic.” I said, taking another bite of my cone.
“We have different definitions of fantastic.”
I smiled and we were silent for a while, eating our ice cream.
“So. What were you going to tell me?”
He looked up at me, then back at his cone.
“Aww, come on. You can do it. Tell me.”
He sighed. “You aren’t going to like it, Little Miss Broken Heart.”
“Tell me anyway.”
He looked up at me, and sighed. “Gossamer’s Talisman is done. For now anyway. And no one will take you in.”
I let my head fall, now facing the table. I somehow knew it would turn out like this, but I didn’t want to believe it. I was going to be alone again.
“O-okay.” I said, nodding. “I already kind of figured that. I’ll be okay though. I always am.” I looked up at him, putting on my brave face.
“Lyrica.” I corrected. “I don’t have a broken heart anymore.”
“Lyrica.” He smiled. “Lyrica, I know you will be okay. Because I want to take you with me. With us. Back to England. I want to take you in.”
“W-why?” I stammered.
“Because, Lyrica. I think I love you.”
“Harry. I-I love you too.”
Our work as a band started just over three months ago, and ended just like that. But that short span of three months changed my life forever. I’m still broken, and I always will be, but I’m not as shattered. I know that I have people who care about me, and even if I make mistakes, I will always be forgiven. My heart may be broken, but has a Band-Aid now, and it’s getting better.
But, to one person, I will always be Little Miss Broken Heart.