When I go back inside, my mom and all of my sisters are looking at me expectantly. I ignore the stares and start to make my way upstairs to my old room.
"Louis, wait!" my mom calls. "Where are you going?"
"To my room," I mumble without stopping. I hear her running after me, so I slow down until she catches up.
"What happened?" she asks, her eyes searching my face for signs of what went down between Harry and I. I bite my lip and shrug pathetically. My mom is visibly disappointed.
"Oh, Louis," she sighs. "I thought you would take the opportunity and tell him you miss him."
"I don't miss him, Mom," I say sharply, elbowing my way past her. I stomp up the stairs, angry at my mom for thinking I could let the past hurt me, and angry at myself for letting Harry get to me. I don't miss him. I don't. My life is so much better without Harry in it. I picture Harry's heartbroken face when I told him I couldn't let him stay at my place. But the thing is, I can't. If I see Harry every day then I'll fall in love with him again. I'll get attached. And I can't afford for that to happen once more.
I sit on my bed and put my face in my hands. No one understands. Everything, everyone, I get attached to leaves. The whole reason why I broke up with Harry is because I thought he was going to break up with me, and I couldn't take that. I couldn't stand the thought of yet another person leaving me. I ended up breaking up with him, thinking it would make me feel better, but it just made me feel worse. I can't go through that feeling yet again. Besides, I've become a pro at hiding my feelings.
I can't help but wonder where Harry's staying now that I turned him down. He's probably staying with his mom or something. He has to have someone.
My phone rings and I reluctantly pick it up. I don't really feel like talking to anyone right now.
"Hello?" I say bitterly.
"Hi, is this Louis Tomlinson? This is Anne Styles," says Harry's mom.
I repress a groan. What could Harry's mom want? Harry can't stay with me. He can't.
"Yes, this is Louis," I say formally.
"How are you, Louis?" Anne asks. "I haven't talked to you in so long! Have and you Harry talked recently? He just called me and informed me that he's coming to stay with us, which is fine with me of course, but I was wondering if maybe you two would like a chance to catch up? Should I tell him to go to your place instead?"
The universe must be working against me today.
"No, actually..." I begin, but Anne suddenly shouts, "Here he is now! I'll put him on for you. Take care, Louis!"
Two seconds later, I hear Harry's hesitant voice say, "Hello?"
"Hi." I try to sound normal, but it comes out sounding strangled. "Your mom thought maybe we wanted to catch up."
"Do you want to catch up?" Harry sounds hopeful.
I say the first thing that comes to mind. "Not particularly." I mentally slap myself. Way to go, Louis, I tell myself. That was mean.
"Right," Harry replies. "You can't do that and all."
His tone implies it all. He hates me now. Not that I want him to like me, but I don't want him to hate me either. What do I want?
"I mean, no, well do you want to go out for coffee tomorrow?" I ask quickly. He's going to say no. He hates me.
"Sure," Harry says, and I can hear him smiling over the phone.
"I'll pick you up at eleven," I tell him and hang up. I don't bother saying goodbye. I'm not sure I can handle saying yet another one to Harry.
"I'll pick you up at eleven," Louis says and abruptly hangs up the phone.
I turn around and see my mom grinning like an idiot at me. "Are you two getting back together?"
"No, Mom!" I say huffily. I pick up my duffel bag and start to go upstairs.
"You say no," my mom says from below me. "But you're blushing, which makes me think otherwise."
I silently curse myself for blushing and continue upstairs, ignoring my mom. Maybe Louis will decide he doesn't want to talk to me overnight and he'll call me tomorrow morning and cancel our plans. It would be a nice alternative to the anxiety I feel swelling in my stomach and spreading all over my body like a persistent rash.
I was never like this when I first met Louis. In fact, when I first met him, everything was happy and cute and cuddly. He was the first person I'd ever genuinely loved, and I was the same to him. We would stay up all night texting each other, playing dumb games to get to know each other better and laughing at things that seemed funny at three in morning but, looking back on it, were really just dumb.
"Who was your first kiss?" Louis asked, grinning.
I don't want to tell him that he was my first kiss, that I'd never actually cared about anyone before him, but I'm not sure how.
"He's sitting in this room," I say. Louis' eyes widen, seeing as we're alone in his bedroom. "I was your first kiss?" he asks slyly. I nod. "Was it a good first kiss?" he continues. I turn away, a little embarrassed. "Is Harry getting embarrassed?" Louis says, moving closer to me. He brings his hand up to my face and a bolt of lightning courses through my body when he touches me.
"A little," I say. Louis leans even closer, until I can smell his cologne and see just how blue his eyes are.
"Was it a good first kiss?" he repeats.
I nod, too embarrassed and fidgety from how close Louis is to me to respond properly.
"Let's see if I can do any better this time," Louis says and he kisses me. His lips taste like the peppermint gum he always chews. His face is soft, almost as soft as his hair, which smells sort of nature-y. I come up with one word for it. Home.
The memory leaves me craving Louis, craving his touch and craving his lips on mine. I know I'm being dumb, but I can't help it. Despite the fact that Louis seems to kind of hate me, there's still a part of me that believes he could fall in love with me again.
It's something I haven't felt in a long time. Hope.