I stare at the TV screen and wonder why on earth these kinds of shows exist. I mean, who needs ten different shows that are all the same kinds of peppy hosts who shout, "Who's ready for the new year?" then wait for the crowd to scream something indistinguishable back?
Right now, Ryan Seacrest is talking to some random girl who he pulled out of the crowd. She looks like she's about to die of happiness. She's probably never had anyone famous talk to her before.
I didn't use to be this bitter. No one famous has ever talked to me either. Ryan Seacrest asks the overly cheerful girl what her New Year's resolution is and she pauses. Finally she says,
"To be happy!" with a huge grin that can only be described as maniacal. Ryan Seacrest looks thrilled.
"What a great resolution!" he cheers, holding out his microphone in the direction of the crowd who screams in response.
When I was little I always wanted to be in New York City to see the ball drop, but now that I'm older I don't really see the point. It's a crystal ball that glitters for hours before plummeting to the ground below, only to be blocked out by the tons of confetti raining down all around it. Big deal.
"We'll be right back with more performances from special guests!" Ryan says. Yet another cheer erupts from the crowd. I've never seen so many excited people in one place before. Happy New Year.
I flip through the channels but nothing good is on. Apparently everyone is being forced to watch these celebrations instead of the shows that are usually on.
When the show comes on again, I watch a performance by some young artist I've never heard of before but who seems to be well known by everyone there. I should really pay more attention to pop culture. If Harry was here, we'd be laughing at the stupid hats that the people on TV are wearing and sneaking kisses during commercials...
I shake my head quickly. No. I'm not going to start this again. Soon it'll be a new year. I used to scoff at people who said, "New year, new me!" but now I kind of relate to them.
That's my resolution. To become a better, more independent version of myself.
I knock on Will's door and pray to God that he's home. Seconds pass and I start to get a little nervous. I knock once more, deciding that if he doesn't answer I'll just go to Louis' and come up with another plan on the way.
Luckily, Will opens the door after another minute of waiting.
"Harry!" he cries, wrapping me in a bear hug. "Where have you been? I was so worried! Louis was too, I think. He wouldn't come right out and say it, but he definitely was. Does he know you're back? I have to call him!"
"No, don't call him," I say, stopping him in his tracks. "I'm going to surprise him. But first, is my suitcase still here?"
Will nods. "Yeah, upstairs in the bedroom. I figured you'd be coming back for it eventually."
I nod my thanks and start to head up the stairs. "Harry?" Will calls from the bottom of the steps.
"Yeah?" I reply, turning around.
"I'm glad you're back," he tells me, smiling. I smile in response before continuing up the steps.
My suitcase is right where I dumped it the night Louis kicked me out. I open it and riffle through it, looking for what I need from it. When I don't see it right away I start to panic. Did I get rid of it? I don't think so. Eventually I find what I'm looking for and I shove it in my coat pocket.
Before I leave Will's place, I write a quick note on the pad of paper on the nightstand beside the bed.
Thank you for keeping my suitcase here. I forgive you for what you did.
It's formal and abrupt, but I don't care. All I can think about is going home to Louis.
There's only a few minutes left until the new year, a few minutes left before I will try to miraculously transform into someone who is independent and doesn't give a shit about people who don't give a shit about him.
My mind drifts and I wonder what Harry's doing. What would we be doing if he was here?
"Ten! Nine! Eight! Seven! Six! Five! Four! Three! Two! One! Happy New Year, Lou!" Harry exclaims before pressing his lips against mine gently.
I couldn't imagine a better start to the new year. Another year with Harry, another year of happiness.
I snap out of it before the memory continues. That was years ago. I need to let it go.
On the TV, the crowd starts counting down the seconds until the new year.
A knock on the door startles me out of my reverie. I stand up reluctantly and make my way to the door. I peer out the window but I can't tell who it is. Maybe someone is lost and needs directions.
I open the door, my mouth falling open when I see who's standing there.
"Thirty-nine! Thirty-eight! Thirty-seven!"
"I was wondering if this was still valid," Harry says, pulling a piece of paper of his pocket. For a second, I'm confused. What is it? Then I realize: it's the Christmas present I gave him in Paris.
Good for one stay at the home of Louis Tomlinson.
"Fifteen! Fourteen! Thirteen!"
I hesitate. Part of me is screaming to let him in, to kiss him until my lips are sore. But the other part of me is wary. Should I let him in? Should I? Should I?
"Five! Four! Three!"
I grab Harry's arm and yank him into the foyer. We stare at each other for a second.
I smash my lips against Harry's desperately. He doesn't pause for a split second, he kisses me back as if he had been planning on my reaction for days.
"HAPPY NEW YEAR!"
When we finally pull apart, Harry stares into my eyes with an intensity that almost makes me uncomfortable.
"So, I guess that's a yes, then?" he asks me, smiling.
"Yes," I respond as he hugs me close to him. "Forever and always."