The Darkest Petal

'I promised myself that I wouldn't love you.' He began, and my heart stopped. 'And I don't love you. But, it was 4am and you were breathing beside me, and I felt happy for the first time in a long time. I knew then that my promise was fucked.'

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4. Chapter Three

 

I liked sitting in Harry’s living room. I liked how he’d wait for me for to talk first. How he’d sit and touch the ivory keys, letting gentle tunes echo on the bare walls.

“It’s beautiful.” I told him, lying down on the couch in my leggings and oversized shirt. My eyes closed feeling the vibration of the piano through my fingers. “It’s Beethoven’s 5th Symphony.” he told me, and played the last of it.

“Are you coming tomorrow night?” I asked him, “Yes, that’s why Dan is coming over, he wants to give me some advice.” he stood up and walked over to me, sitting down beside me, I move my legs but he pulls them back over himself.

“You don’t need any.” I say, he rolls his eyes, “He wants me to leave you alone.” he whispered, and turned to me, “That’s funny, my dad want me to stay away from you.” I said.

 

We sat in silence, and I saw a thousand thoughts run around his mind. “They seem to have this warped idea. That being upper, makes them superior.” he muttered, “I don’t follow.” I said, “They think that two different people, colliding, can’t make something wonderful.” he turned to me, and then paused, “You’ve not got money in your eyes, it’s a lovely change.” he smiled.

I gulped, and let my head fall softly onto his hand, that caressed my cheek. Was this that wonderful thing? That sinking, the enclosed surroundings, was that the wonderful part?

 

“When are you going to take my picture?” I hush my voice, and he smiled. “I’ve been taking it all night.” he told me, a boyish grin covering his lips, “You’ve not picked up a camera all night.” I state, and he smirked, and lifted a hand and tapped his head softly, “Up here, that’s where they need storing.”

 

Then he did take my picture, not just with his eyes, but with a camera. 

He told me to stand he told me to sit, he told me to walk, and then freeze. The most spectacular moment of all was when he reached for my shoulder, lacing his finger under the shirt and drooping it from my shoulder, showing skin, milky skin saw his pupils dilate, like a lion saw a gazelle.

It was over then, he took the final picture, slowly, like a drag from a cigarette and lifted my shirt back onto my shoulder. The fragile eyes that he looked upon me with, looked like they’d found Nessie.

 

“The pictures have come out well.” I smiled as he handed them to me. Was that me? That young girl with tight skin, but pink chunky lips, and cheek bones that could cut steel. 

“I’d like to take more. I have a studio, it’s just off the university campus. You’d be able to wear pretty dresses, and maybe something nice underneath. There is a magazine interested in using my pictures, they said they’d find me a model, but I’d like to use you.” he explained.

 

“What if they don’t like me?” he whispered. “Who wouldn’t like you?” he moved closer on the small couch, and brushed my hair back.

“You’re extraordinary.” he licked his bottom lip, and I touched his skin with my own, “Why?” I hushed my voice, “Describing the taste of water would be easier than answering that question.” he tells me.

“Try.” I demand, still in a low voice. “You’re beautiful. The kind of beautiful reserved for forest fires. You’re a fire that I could not die in, it would not burn, only give warmth.” he slowed his words, pronouncing each and and every letter.

 

He gave me the kind of feelings that were wrote about in novels. The kind of feeling that could make me erupt, and perhaps burn him like he said I wouldn’t.

That night was spent in the company of his arms, not with them around me, just brushing beside me as we watched old movies, and scrolled through pictures lay on the floor. 

Nothing happened. Nothing. The world didn’t move that night. I felt the stars look down at their prized possession that had fallen. The moon didn’t move until 6am. Neither did we.

Did we stay up all night, or was I that consumed by the dream I was living I was in a false state of consciousness.

 

The morning came and Harry stood making coffee, two sugars, milk. Then three disastrous menacing bangs came from the front door and shattered us to reality.

 

Daniel Scott ruined everything.

“Sophia, why are you here?” he cocked his head, and I looked for Harry. “She is helping me with something, Dan.” he muttered handing me the coffee.

Daniel nodded to Harry and they walked to the kitchen, after two minutes of a deafening silence, they returned, Harry green, Daniel red and flustered. Silent arguments cause the biggest grievances.

 

“Did you stay the night?” Daniel turned to me after a few brief mumbles that seemed to change Harry. “I did, Mr. Scott.”

“You should probably get going now, Sophia.” I heard a low voice, and it was Harry’s, but it was so foreign. “Oh, well, could I get a shower first?” I took a step closer, eager for him to look me in the eye. “No, I have things to do.”

“I should leave now too, I will drive you home, Sophia. I will wait in the car.” he smiled at me, and I nodded gratefully, “See you tonight, son.” and Harry seemed to shuddered, “Get the fuck out.” he snarled, and turned his back. 

 

“I will see you soon, Harry.” I grabbed my bag. “Don’t count on it.” he whispered, and turned to look at me, 

 

And I remember now -months after this brief moment of heaven was shattered by Daniel Scott - my plans changed. 

Falling in love was to harsh a word, falling was suppose to hurt, floating felt better.

Floating in love with him was never part of my plan, until one morning in February I just woke up loving him so much. Never wanting to loose him.

 

Driving through the cold streets of NYC just made the confusions worse. 

“I didn’t know you and Harry were friends.” he glanced over at me, and I hummed a yes, not knowing if we were after that exit. “You should be carful, he is my son and I love him dearly, but he will ruin you.” he mumbled.

 

Wasn’t that what I had asked? I wanted to be ruined by him. I wanted him rip me apart, tear me and maybe even make me a face that I would scarcely remember.

“I know what I am doing.” I assured us, he laughed, “Nobody knows what they are doing when it comes to him.”

“Calum would like to see you tonight.” he spoke again, the dim humming of the radio in the background, like white noise. “I’ll be seeing both your sons tonight.” I sit up straight, “I see why they are both so infatuated with you.” he told me, and I looked over to him, “Infatuated? I wouldn’t say Harry was infatuated with me.” 

 

“You’re a women, you don’t see it. Men look at women, in a way that you’ll never see, because when you are looking at TV screen or maybe a magazine, he is looking at you like everything around you is hazed.” he stated, “Is that how you looked at Harry’s mother?” I whispered, “No, I did, but now I look at Sara like that.” he muttered, like a knife had just been twisted in his side.

 

Sitting in front of my mirror letting my shirt fall over my shoulder, I touch my skin remembering the burning sensation of his fingertips. “Darling, please try to make yourself look decent.” I heard my mother, “I’ve hung a red dress on your dresser, and some new lipstick.” she added.

 

I sighed, and slid into it. Squirming. 

The foundation burnt as it clawed my face, the deep red colour of the lipstick complimented my new complexion. “Don’t you look like woman” I heard a low voice, seeing my father at my door.

“Thank you.” I stared at my doll like face, the porcelain would soon be cracked.

My father sat on the edge of my bed, and I turned to face him. He held a bag, a small bag which inside contained a long rectangular box.

“This is for you.”

 

I took the small bag opened the box, and inside was a long snake like silver chain hissing, and dangling from it’s tail a single diamond. “I saw it, and I thought, ‘I know a girl that will look amazing on.’ and so I got it, would you like me to put it on?” he stood up, and I gulped and smiled, nodding for him to do so.

 

Walking down the stairs I felt the weight around my neck finding it difficult to ignore. The white leather heels I wore were painful and uncomfortable, so a small pair of flats slipped themselves into my bag.

Sitting in a limo for sixteen, the three of us left. 

 

Arriving a pretty french restaurant, serving food that we’d never heard of but like to think we had. “No running of with handsome devils this evening.” my mother spoke, giving me a wink of encouragement. “I’ll try.” I chuckled to myself.

 

We arrived at 8:00pm. By 8:03pm, the Scott's had arrived too. We shook hands exchanged kisses on the cheek. Sat and drank wine, talked about sports, the latest in the elite society. 

The starter came. No one knew how to pronounce it but Sara recalled a time when she was in university on an exchange program and Louie took her to a little cafe that served the exact same thing.

“So, I am going with your dad on a business trip.” I heard Calum as every trailed into their own conversations, so I ignored all of his pompous words.

 

“You don’t seem pleased?” he cocked his head and I rolled my eyes, “You want me to be? I can’t be.” I almost snarl, but can’t smudge my lipstick. “You know we are going to be married one day? Why don’t you just accept that and love me now?” he scoffed, “Love? Please. The only thing to love about you is your money, and I have enough of that.” I told him.

“You’ll come around, they always do.” he muttered, “They?” I force a straight face, he hummed a yes, “Somehow, I find that extremely hard to believe.”

 

It was 9:05pm. I felt the room get warmer, and the company sterner. “Sorry, I thought you said 9.” the voice was low, and it sat right next to me. “No worries, we are just about to order mains.” Daniel let out a nervous chuckle.

“I’ve already eaten.” he told his father, “I’d just like water.” he added, and I smirked down, but then remembered the coldness of him this morning.

 

The main came, and I had stake. The only ordinary thing on the menu. Believe this or not, Sara swore she had eaten something that looked still half alive on her plate in France too. We carried on with meaningless conversation. 

 

“So, Harry. What do you do?” my mother enquired, and looked at me, as he smiled pleasantly, “I’m a photographer.” - My mother grinned. “I was always a fool for the artistic kind!” she exclaimed, the table chuckled, my father stopped the chuckle. “How much money is in that?” he snarled, in the kindest way.

“Enough to live on.” was Harry’s response, my mother darted her eyes at him, and turned back to Harry, “What’s your favourite thing to take pictures of?” she asked, “Beautiful things?” I suggest, and he smirked at me, and parted his lips for a second before speaking, “Exactly.” 

 

“A poet too.” my mother stated, “How did you know?” he leaned forward, and I bite down on my lip, “I told you, I’m a fool for the artistic kind, I dated enough of them to know one.” she sipped her wine.

I saw Calum snarl out of the corner of my eye. 

 

“Sophia, when are you going on that trip to England?” I heard my father, almost reminding Harry that he didn’t have that. “A few months, I’m still unsure if I am going to go.” I smiled, “She’s going for her Literature course.” he told the table for me, “What novel?” Harry asked me, and I gulped.

“Wuthering Heights.” I say, and he hummed a yes, “Do you know it?” my mother asked, “Be with me always - take any form  -  drive me mad. Only do not leave me in this abyss where I cannot find you. Oh god, it is unutterable. I cannot live without my life. I cannot live without my soul.” 

He stared at me the entire time, and my mother clapped him, and so did his father. I couldn’t join in, to consumed by the look in his eyes.

“I’m going along the moors, I will take some beautiful pictures for you. Polaroid.” I tell him, announcing it to everyone.

 

The night was nearly over after that. Harry stepped outside for air, or maybe to escape the incredible pressure of all this talk of money. Our waiter got tipped $50 - that was more than what Harry probably saw at one time, and if not, then the $955 bill was.

Everyone stayed for one final time, “I should find Harold.” Daniel spoke, and I stood up, “I’ll go, I need air anyway.” I say, and my mother looked at me, she was almost proud, I think she would have been if it wasn’t for the menacing stare from my father.

 

I walked outside, the stars playing in the night sky, wondering if tonights encounter with Harry would be as memorable. I found him, smoke falling from his lips, a cigarette between his fingertips.

“That’ll kill you.” I called, and walked over to him as he greeted me with a smile. “Why do you care? Do you want to kill me first?” he teased, “I want to know why you told me to leave this morning.” I demand, and he stomped on the cigarette, letting smoke escape his foot.

“You know why.” he muttered, looking down with a frown and then meeting my eyes again. “What did Daniel say?” I whispered, “He reminded me we were different.” he gazed at me, the stars were creating a series of chants in the sky, called the wind.

“You said being different made something wonderful.” I spoke, “I also said sometimes I lie.” he added on, and tears almost fell, almost.

“I suppose you did warn me, didn’t you?” I sighed, and wrapped my arms around myself.

 

“Please, take that off.” he whispered, cutting me off. I raised my hand like a kitten to toy with the string. I remembered the heavy weight around my neck then, it was embedding itself into my skin, “Why? It’s beautiful.” I state, and he shakes his head, “I can’t stand to see such a beautiful thing wear something so, distasteful.” he whispered, “So, I will ask you again, take it off.” he scowled.

“Why do you care, you don’t want me anyway.” I snapped, and he snapped his head towards me, “Did I say that?” he asked, “You insinuated.” I shrugged, he sighed, and took a step closer.

 

“Remember, diamonds are created under pressure.” his fingertips laced around my neck and removed the necklace dropping it on the floor,  letting it crack.

“Do me a favour?” he whispered against my neck, and I heard him gulp, “Try and remember who you were before the world told you who to be.”

He left then. We all did.

 

I wouldn’t see him after that for three months.

 

----- Could you all please continue to read, and please comment so I know what you like and what you don't. I need some motivation to carry on if you like it. Thanks guys. -------

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