Home Is Where The Heart Is

It’s been years since Harry last saw Louis. They met in high school and they fell head over heels in love with each other. But right before they went off to college, they split up and ever since then, Harry has felt incomplete. He’s just lost his job and his landlord kicked him out of his apartment because he couldn’t pay his rent. He’s got no place to go. Harry decides to go on a journey to find Louis. After all, home is where the heart is, and Harry’s heart is forever with Louis. Copyright 2014

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1. Kicked Out

"No, wait!" I yell after my landlord's retreating back. "Please give me another week!"

My landlord turns around. "You haven't been paying your rent. I don't have a choice. If you aren't packed up and gone by tomorrow at noon, I'll take your things and get rid of them myself." With that, he continues walking to his car.

I scowl at his back before going back inside. I sit down at my small kitchen table and look around my meager apartment. How did I get here? Four years ago I was perfectly happy. Now here I am, first jobless and now homeless.

I slowly stand up and begin putting my skimpy belongings into a faded duffel bag. It's the duffel bag that I used when Louis and I went camping a few years ago, and before I can help it, a flood of memories washes over me.

"Louis, you're not even helping me," I complain as I manage to get my legs tangled in the tent.

Louis laughs. "You're doing it wrong," he points out. I glare at him and he heaves a sigh before getting up and helping me set up the tent.

"Thank you," I say when we're done. "I'd do anything for you," Louis replies before kissing me.

I grimace at the memory. I look down and realize I'm clenching the duffel bag in my hand. I release it, and the blood flows back to my hand.

Where am I going to go now? I guess I could go stay with my mom, but the idea doesn't really appeal to me. I'm 23 years old, I should be living on my own, not leeching off my parents for help and a place to call home.

After I'm done packing up most of my things, I start to cook myself dinner. If there's one thing I'm good at, it's cooking. I've tried to get jobs as a chef, though, and I never get the position. I was working as an assistant to a landscaper until the business had to shut down. It wasn't my dream job by any means, but it did give me a source of income, even if it was small.

I make just enough spaghetti for myself and eat it standing over the counter, not bothering to sit down at the table and have a proper meal. I eat quickly, wash the dishes, and pick up my phone. I'm about to call my mom and ask if I can live with her for a week or two when I have a sudden idea.

What if I found Louis? I know we broke up right before we went off to college, but maybe we could get back together. He would let me move in with him and we would start up right where we left off. In a year or so he'd propose, and we'd get married. The future I always wanted. The future I always thought I'd have, until Louis called it quits unexpectedly. To this day, I'm not entirely sure what made him break up with me. He reassured me it wasn't because he cheated on me, and he told me he hadn't found someone else. He just said he didn't feel the same way about me anymore.

The truth is, for a full year after Louis broke up with me I was a mess. A heartbroken, devastated, crying mess. I had been convinced that we were perfect for together. I still am convinced of that.

The more I think the plan over in my head, the more I like the idea. The only problem is, I have no idea where Louis lives, and if he'll even want to talk to me. These are only minor problems, though. Because just as Louis said to me on that night we went camping, I'd do anything for him.

The next morning, I throw my duffel bag over my shoulder and set out. I plan on going to Louis' old house first. Even if he doesn't live there anymore, I can ask his mom where he is. It only takes me fifteen minutes to get there, and when I arrive I stare up at the house nostalgically. We spent so much time here together.

I nervously approach the front door and knock. I hear some shouting inside, and I know it must be Louis' sisters fighting over something or other. When the door begins to swing open, I take a deep breath and prepare myself.

"Harry!" Louis' mom says, stepping out onto the porch and hugging me. "How lovely to see you! How have you been, dear?"

"I just got kicked out of my apartment and I don't have a job," I blurt out. Way to go, Harry, I think. Now she'll think you're a hot mess. No way she'll let you see Louis now.

"Oh, Harry no, I'm so sorry!" she says. "Is that the reason you came?"

"No actually," I say, shaking my head. "I was wondering if you could, um, tell me where Louis is?"

Louis' mom raises her eyebrows. "Where Louis is?"

"Yeah, if that's okay," I say, glancing down at my feet and wishing I wouldn't have come.

"Why, he's right inside!" Louis' mom exclaims. "He's home visiting this weekend. Do you want to come in, or shall I send him out?"

"Could you send him out, please?" I ask politely. Louis' mom smiles. "Of course dear. And do let me know if you need anything at all."

I nod and thank her. She disappears inside and the door slams shut. I run my hand through my hair and fidget anxiously. It seems like an eternity passes before the door finally opens, but it was probably just a minute or two.

I tried to mentally prepare myself, but I guess you can't really prepare yourself for seeing your ex-boyfriend for the first time in four years. Louis looks mostly the same, but more handsome, if that's even possible. His blue eyes are still lively, but they look a little wary as they take in my presence. His brown hair is a little longer, sweeping over his forehead and trailing down his neck.

"Harry," Louis says cautiously, and that's all it takes for me to melt. I haven't heard his voice in so long, let alone his voice saying my name, and I have to try hard not to let my knees buckle.

"Louis," I reply, just as cautiously. I'm about to say more when Louis cuts me off.

"Why did you come?" he asks abruptly.

I'm speechless for a moment. "I, um, I lost my job and my landlord kicked me out," I say pitifully.

Louis nods. "I know. My mom told me. But why are you here?"

"I need someplace to stay. I was wondering if maybe I could stay with you?" I ask in a rush.

Louis frowns, and in an instant I know he's going to say no.

"I'm really sorry, Harry, but I don't think I can," Louis tells me in a choked voice. "I don't think I can do that."

"Why not?" I ask, my voice breaking.

"Harry, it took me so long to get over you," Louis says quietly, studying his hands.

"But you broke up with me," I say, stunned.

"Yeah it was a mistake," Louis replies. "But I only realized that after the fact."

"So why can't I stay with you?" I start to say, but Louis cuts me off again.

"Sorry, Harry. It just won't work," he says. He opens the front door and goes inside. The door closes behind him and I know I made a mistake coming here. I turn around and start to walk down the driveway. His words play over and over in my head. It took him a long time to get over me? I don't understand. I thought he had stopped me liking me before college. I know that Louis doesn't want to talk to me, but I'm determined to get him to. I won't give up. Not like he gave up on me.

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