Lovely Madness

I had been in love before. Unlike most girls these days, my love was real. He was everything I had ever wanted from a man. He cared for me, he could make me laugh and smile, he kissed me like each one would be our last, he never hurt me. Until the day that he did. But even then, I couldn't stop loving him. I think a part of me still loves him now. When you fall so deeply in love with someone, you can't just stop.

Then out of nowhere, he came back. After leaving me alone for so long he had come back. I didn't want to let him in. I didn't want to feel things about him anymore. The thought of him drove me to madness. Passionate, heartbreaking, beautiful, lovely madness.

"There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness."

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I'm very easily conflicted. Ever since Harry had left I started to over think things. I didn't let them get to me, but I couldn't stop thinking about it. After my clothes were on, I brushed my hair out and pinned some of it back with a clip. The rain had stopped so I put on some combat boots and my sister's stone necklace that I wore everywhere. I grabbed my phone and wallet off the nightstand then stared at myself in the mirror. I wasn't really feeling the makeup thing today, especially since I hadn't showered. 

I walked back out into the living room and Simone was laughing loudly. Harry sat there smiling down at her until he looked at me. There was something about his eyes and the way they examined me. I thought back to before Simone had interrupted us. His smell had just registered in my head. He always smelled like a mix of coffee, mint, and some spice. It was intoxicating. 

"I think Riley's ready," Harry said. 

Simone looked at me and slammed the book shut. She threw it to the side and ran over to the door. 

"Pancakes!" She jumped up and down. 

"You have a lot of energy today young lady," I smiled. 

Harry stood up and grabbed his jacket, "I remember how to get there, so I'll meet you there." 

Then Simone started moaning. 

"Riley can Harry come in our car?" She asked. 

"How's he gonna get home afterwards?" I didn't know where he was staying. Or if he even had a place to stay.

She just frowned at me and started reaching for the door knob. I tucked some hair behind my ear and looked at Harry. I guess I could be friendly, he did pay for my car to get fixed that one time in high school.

"Would you like to ride with us?" I muttered. 

His grin hadn't changed one bit. 

"I'd love to, I'll drive," He walked to the door and opened, releasing Simone into the hallway. 

"Wait hold on, who gave you permission to drive my car?" I asked, locking the door as I met them in the hallway. 

Simone ran over to me and grabbed my hand as we walked. 

"Riley I drove your car more than you did," Harry laughed. 

"That was a long time ago," I snapped. 

Simone turned back to look at Harry then up at me. 

"Riley," she whispered loudly. 

"Yes?" I replied as I pressed the elevator button. 

She pulled me down to her level and grabbed both of my shoulders. 

"Is Harry your boyfriend?" 

That was a horrible whisper because Harry coughed behind us. Both of us whipped our heads back and glared at him. He raised his hands defensively as the elevator doors opened. The three of us stepped in and I contemplated how to answer. 

"No he's not," I said. 

Simone looked up at Harry, still confused obviously. Harry noticed, squatted down to her, and acted like he was going to whisper. 

"I used to be," he said. 

"Harry!" I snapped. I didn't want to have this conversation with Simone, she was just like Natalie when it came to boys, obsessive and annoying. 

He just let out a small chuckle and stood up straight. Simone gasped loudly as we stepped out of the elevator. 

"Riley did you like like him?!" She yelled. 

"Simone stop yelling!" I said through clenched teeth.

Harry opened the door for us and we stumbled out into the cool air. Damn it, I should've put on long sleeves. 

"Harry did Riley like like you?" 

I let go of her hand as we came up to my silver car. I threw my car keys over to him as he unlocked the doors. I opened the door to the backseat and buckled Simone into her car seat. Once we were all seated, Harry laughed a little out of nowhere. 

"You know what Simone? She sure did." 

I rolled my eyes and Simone giggled. 

"Quit making it sound like I was obsessed with you," I said. 

"And I like liked her back," he said as he turned his head to look at me. 

I met his eyes and almost choked. When we were together Harry had always had some sort of influence on me. But now... I didn't know what I felt. Goosebumps grew on my arms and the back of my neck. Harry started the car while keeping his eyes on me. 

"Drive you idiot, I'm hungry," I snapped.

I had to really think before I said that sentence so I didn't call Harry a dick in front of my four year old niece. My sense of humor was too dry and for my own good. Bluntness was a serious problem for me too. I didn't have a filter and I desperately needed one. Harry just smirked at me as he started to drive. We all sat silently listening to whatever came on the radio. 

"Riley why don't you like like Harry anymore? I like him," Simone spoke up suddenly. 

I looked at her in the mirror and so did Harry. 

"Aren't you a sweetheart?" Harry smiled. 

"Do you like me?" Simone asked as Harry parked. 

He turned off the car and turned around in his seat.

"Sure do, love." 

I was gonna throw up. Not because I thought this whole thing was gross, but for the complete opposite reason. Simone connected with everyone, yet she didn't develop relationships that fast. But I could tell Simone had some weird chemistry with Harry. Which shouldn't be that surprising because it didn't take shit for Harry to grow on you. Everything about him just made you want to be his best friend. Or fall in love with him.

Twenty minutes later Simone was licking syrup off her fingers. I finished off my pancakes and started wiping her face off. 

"You didn't answer my question, Riley," she said. 

I sighed and dropped my hand from her face. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Harry set his napkin down and rest his arms on the table. He looked at me like he was waiting for an answer too. Well fuck him because I didn't know what to say. 

"Well..." I muttered, god dammit.

"I left for awhile," Harry butted in. 

I looked at him and he smiled lightly at a Simone. 

"Was she mean to you?" She asked innocently. 

I rolled my eyes and Harry laughed, brushing his hair back. 

"No. Riley's always been very nice to me. I was going through some things so I had leave," Harry explained. 

He said I was always nice to him. That was bullshit. Harry and I didn't have a cutesy relationship. We fought a lot and bullied each other but it worked. We had fun. 

"So now you don't like him?" Simone looked at me. 

"I never said that. I just... don't like like him anymore. It's a little messed up," I muttered. 

Simone sat silently, thinking about everything she had just heard. She was one of the smartest kids I had ever met, and I wasn't just saying that because she was my niece. Natalie was abnormally smart, and Simone took after her in that.

"I don't wanna grow up. Boys are weird," she said. 

I smiled and nodded, "I like the sound of that." 

"Can I go to pee?" She jumped out of her seat. 

"Want me to go with you?" I set my phone down and started to stand up. 

"I can do it!" Then she hurried away from the table. 

I kept my eyes on her until I was sure she made it inside the bathroom without being snatched.

"That girl is just like Natalie. Never shuts up," I said. 

Harry smiled and looked down at his plate, trying to find words.

"Did she know about me before I got here?"

I couldn't honestly answer that question because I couldn't remember. Harry wasn't a sensitive subject, just one I always pushed down and tried to forget. 

"Maybe. She asks me about boys a lot," I shrugged. 

"Why?" 

"Wants me to find happiness. She knows I'm not her mom and everything, but she's okay with that. I don't think she realizes she has a dad somewhere out there but she wants someone to fill that space. Kind of like I filled the one for Nat," I explained. 

Harry stared. Like he always did. Bastard.I'm going to poke those fucking beautiful eyes out of his head one day.

"And have you... Attempted to do that yet?" He awkwardly asked. 

I grinned and grabbed a napkin. 

"You mean dated anyone since you broke my heart nearly four years ago? I could never, Mister Styles," I joked. 

I reached over the table and wiped some syrup off his chin. His eyes couldn't focus on one thing on my face. I retracted my hand quickly, wondering where all that confidence came from. 

"I broke your heart?" His voice got soft and his eyes looked sad. 

I wiped my ignorant grin away once I realized he was serious. 

"I mean... I didn't pierce my nose and cut all my hair off. But yeah, it hurt. I moved on though." 

Harry nodded and started messing with that same ring on his finger. 

"Can I talk to you alone later? Somewhere without interruptions?" He asked. 

I raised an eyebrow and shrugged, "Sure. Simone has a sleepover to attend tonight. Speaking of..." I regretted even thinking this but I said it anyway, "Do you need somewhere to stay tonight?" 

"Would you really? You don't even like like me anymore." God bless he was back to normal. 

"Be a bitch about it and the offer comes off the table," I snapped. 

"Alright, alright. I can help with noodle sauce night too," he smiled. 

"Will you make us your secret recipe sauce?" I sat back in my seat and admired his face. 

"Oh shit, I haven't made that since..." He stopped talking trying to think. 

"Our anniversary senior year. Right before Hollywood." 

Fuck, that didn't sound like I had moved on. In fact it sounded like I was hanging on. His smiled started to grow and his eyes shined. It was understandable though, that whole time period was perfect. Harry and I's senior year together was what most people could only dream of.

"Yeah, I guess it was... I'll explain it all tonight, Riley. I promise."

I just gazed at him a little while longer. The lighting in this restaurant was made for him. 

"You don't have to," I whispered. 

"Yes I do. You deserve to know." 

"But do I need to?" I countered.

He leaned back in his seat and mirrored my body language and the way I was looking at him.

"I think so," he replied. 

Simone came back to the table just as the check did. As I reached for it, Harry grabbed my wrist and stopped me. 

"I said I would take her to breakfast so I'm going to pay for it," he smirked at me. 

I jerked my hand away, getting weak from feeling his skin on mine, and crossed my arms. 

"Fine," I replied. 

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