Stars in Your Eyes

The stars in your eyes are burning you alive. Shay is the younger sister of Louis Tomlinson, and Harry Styles is Louis’ best friend. She’s known him since they were kids, but as she grows up her feelings begin to change. Harry no longer annoys her, he intrigues her, and she likes kissing him more than anything. A story about a girl who falls in love with a boy and vice versa.
[American High School AU]

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15. Chapter Fifteen

In the weeks that followed Shay’s irresponsible drunken night, a lot of things changed in her life. Her mother, for one, was a lot less lenient when letting her venture out of the house in fear that she might make another terrible life decision that would get her into more trouble, or worse. She also kept a tight eye on the time Shay spent with Rachel after the bad decisions they made together.

So no boyfriend and no best friend. Check.

Louis and Harry finally started seeing eye-to-eye again and were slowly working to get their friendship back. Everyone knew it would never be put back exactly the way it was before – that Louis would always carry a bit of resentment – but it meant something to Shay that Louis was willing to forgive. Too bad he was only looking to forgive Harry. Shay and Louis’ relationship on the other hand was still broken. Even after she found out that Louis only informed his closest friends about Shay and Harry and wasn’t the one to spread the rumors, Shay still couldn’t see passed the fact that she and Harry were still apart at Louis’ doing.

And as for Shay and Harry – they hadn’t spoken since the night of the party. Since she forced him to spend the night, since he told her they couldn’t be together anymore and she saw in his eyes that he meant it. His words were so final and the look he gave her was so pitying, it made her sick to her stomach.

It took Shay weeks to be able to fall asleep without crying, without that ache in her chest for her first love.

Louis never brought Harry over to their house anymore and everyone knew why and agreed it would be best if it kept on that way. Mark, missing the company of both his sons, would take them out to sporting events or to play paintball, which didn’t sit right with Shay. But she couldn’t blame them for wanting to get together. Harry was such a large part of their family before everything happened, and now he was just absent.

At school Shay mainly kept to herself, carving out a new existence for herself under the watchful stares of everyone around her. She had friends and she kept up with them, but she didn’t get involved like before. She didn’t feel that particular flutter for companionship she used to get. So she just focused on her studies instead of bothering herself with social situations.

Zayn, Shay’s new friend from the party, tried his best to flirt with her, practically throw himself at her, but she ignored his advances. The old Shay would have jumped at the chance to be with such a beautiful creature, but she changed. She wasn’t the same person and she was content with being alone.

School – that’s how Shay passed the time. Homework. Reading. Writing. Just school. She’d never been much for excelling in her studies, but Louis was right about one thing – it was never too early to start preparing for college. And though she didn’t know if Penn State – the school Louis and Harry were both patiently waiting on acceptance letters from – would be where she went, she knew she wanted to be able to get into a good school at least. And for that she needed the grades to back up her up.

 

“This presentation will be thirty percent of your grade thus far in the class,” Shay heard her government teacher announce.

Her head snapped up from her words. Was she zoning out as she started class? What was going on? Presentation… thirty percent…

Shay swallowed hard, realizing she’d never been much of a public speaker. She waited on more instructions as Mrs. Klein gathered up the papers from her desk, instructing them further about said presentation.

“You and your partner will have four weeks to come up with something significant,” her teacher said as she counted out enough papers for each row of desks and plopped them down on the head desks to be passed back.

Partner? The sound of that made Shay calm down enough to look around the room to see who she’d want as her partner.

“I’ve already randomly assigned your partners…” Mrs. Klein announced. Well, fuck.

“Once I finish calling your pairings, you can gather your belongings and get together with your partner to do some initial brain storming,” she announced.

Pulling out a piece of paper, she began reading off names of partners. Shay waited impatiently for her name to be called.

“Shay Tomlinson, you partner will be… let’s see. Damien Styles,” she called out.

She continued to announce names, but Shay couldn’t hear her. She sat frozen in her desk hearing the name over and over in her head.

Damien Styles. Damien Styles. Damien Styles.

She knew Harry’s little brother was in her class. Everyone knew he was in their class. A freshman in a sophomore level class didn’t go unnoticed. But he kept so quiet, sitting in the back of the room that in the past few weeks Shay just pretended like he wasn’t there. She pretended that someone of Harry’s blood line was not in such close proximity to her. She pretended that anything and everyone relating to the Styles family didn’t exist. And now she would be forced to acknowledge his existence.

After their teacher finished calling out the names of the pairings, the entire class shifted to be seated with their assigned partners. Shay was just about to ask Mrs. Klein for a different partner when Damien plopped down in the desk next to her.

“Hi,” he said, sounding rather friendly. Shay just stared at him, unable to speak.

“Okay, then,” he said awkwardly, cracking open his book.

Shay figured she should probably do the same. So she pulled open the book, realizing she had no idea what page to turn to. She tried to eye his book, but he was just flipping pages, just as clueless as she was.

“So… uh… have any ideas on what you’d like our presentation to be about?” Damien asked.

“Uh…” Shay stammered.

He stared at her like she was the biggest idiot on the planet. And maybe she was.

“I know you have a voice. I’ve heard it around my house,” he said, eyeing her.

“Uh, what?” Shay choked out. Every time she was there with Harry she was well hidden in his room or his family was gone. How could he have possibly heard her?

“You… you babysat my sister Jackie. Remember?” He asked, looking incredibly weirded out by her. It was a long time ago, but she did in fact, babysit their younger sister Jackie once upon a time.

“Oh, yeah!” Shay said, feeling relief flood her mind.

“Yeah,” he said, looking at her oddly.

“Sorry,” she said quietly, letting her vision fall back onto her book.

“No. This isn’t weird at all,” he said rhetorically under his breath.

“I’m sorry. I just… I feel weird today. I just… just never mind me, okay. I’m fine,” Shay said, waving off her craziness.

“Are you sure?” He asked, cocking an eyebrow and gave her a smirk that reminded her so much of Harry, it made her insides hurt.

“No,” she breathed lowly. His brow knit together looking at her like she was crazy.

“Sorry,” she said, shaking her head.

“Yeah. You said that,” he mumbled.

Jesus. She looked and sounded like she was bat-shit crazy. She needed to snap the hell out of it.

“So, yeah. Our presentation…” Shay said, changing the subject.

“Yeah. Do you have something in mind?” He asked.

“No. You?” She asked.

“Nah. Why don’t we look through the text and maybe get ideas?” He offered.

By the end of class they decided on doing their presentation on how Immigrants earns citizenship in the United States.

“Make sure to exchange phone numbers and plan out a schedule to work on your presentations outside of class!” Mrs. Klein told the class as the bell rang.

There was a collective groan throughout the room and Shay too wanted to join, but she didn’t want to make Damien feel bad. If there wasn’t anything between her and Harry, she would have actually found their partnership ideal because Damien was so smart. But right now there was nothing ideal about it.

“We should get together this weekend to work on it,” Shay offered.

“I’m busy Sunday. Is Saturday good for you?” Damien asked.

“Saturday works. But can we do it at my house?” She asked, not wanting to step foot in the Styles’ house. There were too many memories and there was always the possibility of running into Harry.

“Uh… I’ve got to watch Jackie on Saturday,” he told her.

“I thought you said you were free,” she pointed out.

“I-I am. I’ve just got to watch Jackie. We’d have to get together at my house,” he told her.

Shit. Shay hesitated and he noticed.

“It’s not like you haven’t ever been over to my house before,” he stated obviously. It was the house in which she lost her virginity with his brother. She was well aware she’d been there before.

“We’re not contagious,” he said, giving her a smirk that reminded her of Harry again.

“I know,” she said as she packed her book in her bag.

“Well, I’ll see you there Saturday then. One o’clock,” he said, grabbing his stuff up before heading for the door.

 

All morning on Saturday Shay felt sick to her stomach. In just a few short hours she was due at the Styles residence to help Damien start their presentation for their US Government class and she was not looking forward to it at all. Which made her feel bad, because Damien wasn’t a bad kid. He was actually pretty cool. But she couldn’t be bothered with feeling anything but dread about stepping into that house once again. She hadn’t been there since Harry and she knew it was going to be hard.

She decided to walk over there, rather than get a ride from her mom. She didn’t want to hear her questions about why she was going over to Harry’s house. Shay didn’t tell her or anyone else that she was partnered with Damien for their presentation. Shay was pretty vague about it when telling Jay and for some reason, she took it all at face value.

Shay walked slowly, trudging through the snow that was slowly building up on the road. She actually liked when it snowed. Snowflakes were one of the most beautiful things she’d ever seen. She tipped her head back and let a few fall onto her tongue as they fell from the sky. She giggled to herself as she wiped away the snowflakes that fell onto her eyelashes. But her happy moment was halted when she looked ahead and saw the house. How was she so close already? Wasn’t she walking slowly to enjoy her last few moments of peace?

Shay let her expression even out as she got closer and closer, her stomach tying into knots. There was one good thing – Harry’s Jeep was not in the driveway. Shay breathed a sigh of relief as she made her way to the door and rang the doorbell.

“Hey,” Shay said as she smiled awkwardly when Damien pulled open the door.

“Hey,” he said, looking just as awkward.

“WHO IS IT!?” Shay heard Jackie yell as she ran toward the door.

“It’s Shay,” Damien said to his younger sister.

“SHAY!” Jackie yelled, wrapping her arms around Shay’s leg.

“Hi, baby girl!” Shay said, ruffling the six year old’s hair.

“Are you here to play?” She asked excitedly as she pulled away.

“No, honey. I’m here to do homework with your brother,” Shay said, smiling at her.

“Harry’s not here,” she said, cocking her head to the side.

Shay froze at the mention of Harry. Why… why would Jackie automatically assume she was there for Harry?

“Oh. Uh, no, Jacks. She’s here to do homework with me,” Damien chucked uncomfortable.

“Oh. Okay. Can I help?” She asked excitedly.

“Nah, not today. Why don’t you go play with your toys or watch TV or something,” Damien said with a laugh.

“Okay,” Jackie smiled widely and ran to the TV room.

“Come in,” Damien said and Shay realized she was still standing in the doorway, letting all the heat escape into the winter air.

“Oh, yeah. Shit,” she said under her breath and stepped inside.

Damien closed the door behind her, and Shay waited for him to lead the way. She followed him into the dining room, taking extra care not to let her gaze linger on the staircase for too long. Harry’s bedroom was up there. That room held so much of her, it was depressing. She shook her head lightly as she set her bag onto the table.

“I figure we can work in here where I can still keep an eye on Jackie,” Damien told her, eyeing his little sister who was seated in front of the TV watching Dora the Explorer.

“Yeah. Yeah, this is good,” Shay said, giving him a small smile.

“Are you okay?” He asked her.

“What? Yeah,” Shay said, furrowing her brow.

“I just… you seem distracted. Is it me? Like, did I do something to you that I don’t know about? Because ever since my name was called to be your partner…” Damien started.

“No, no. No, Damien. It’s not you. I’m just… there’s been a lot of things going on with me lately. It has nothing to do with you, I promise,” she told him sincerely.

Shay was absolutely positive at that point that Harry’s family never knew anything about their relationship. And that fact sent a bitter wave through her. All she could think was how he got what he wanted from her and conveniently gave up when things got tough. Did he really love her or was he just looking for sex? All the talk about how he was never going to hurt her and his whole protest when she gave him the condom for Christmas just seemed like all a big show now. Shay knew she was the main pusher in keeping their relationship secret, but Jesus, she was sitting there with one of the closest people to him and he was absolutely clueless about it.

“Are you really okay?” Damien asked, breaking Shay out of her thoughts and she realized she was glaring at the wall.

“Yeah. God. You probably think I’m the most unstable girl on the planet. I’m sorry. I am perfectly sane, I swear. Just… just ignore me,” she said, waving her hand through the air.

“I’ll keep that in mind,” Damien chuckled awkwardly, looking at her oddly.

Shay tried her hardest to not let her mind wander as she and Damien started researching their presentation. They ended up getting a lot accomplished. They made a good team.

“We should… we should look up some statistics… like the statistics of how many people come from other countries each year to get citizenship and what countries have the most immigrants,” Shay told him.

“Are they still called immigrants, or is there another term for it? That just seems like we’re talking about, you know, Ellis Island when you say ‘immigrants’,” Damien pointed out.

“I mean, well… they are immigrating. Shouldn’t they be called immigrants? I mean, it’s not a derogatory term. It sounds better than foreigners,” Shay said with a shrug.

“Illegal alien! That’s what I was thinking,” he said as his eyes brightened and a smile erupted on his face.

“Like ‘illegal alien’ sounds better than ‘immigrant’, or ‘foreigner’ for that matter,” Shay laughed. Damien was almost rolling with laughter and it made Shay laugh even harder.

“I like aliens,” he laughed and it only made Shay laugh harder. She almost couldn’t breathe.

“Seriously, I want to meet an alien,” Damien said as his laughter died down. But every word he said made Shay laugh more.

“It’s not that funny,” Damien said, shoving her arm, chuckling lightly.

“You… have… to… stop… talking. I… can’t… breathe…” Shay choked out through her laughter.

“Shut up,” Damien laughed.

As Shay’s laughter finally started dying down, Gemma walked into the dining room, eyeing the two of them together.

“What is going on in here?” She asked, smiling mischievously.

“We’re working on homework,” Damien said as Shay choked back her last few laughs. Once Harry stepped into view, her laughter cut off completely.

“Shay—” Harry choked out, looking at her wide-eyed.

“Hi,” she forced out, wanting to make sure it didn’t get weird for Damien and Gemma’s sake.

“Wh-what are you doing here?” Harry asked, looking surprised to see her sitting at his kitchen table… with his little brother.

“They’re working on homework,” Gemma said, bobbing her eyebrows suggestively.

Out of her peripherals, Shay saw Damien shake his head, annoyed with his older sister. But Shay was busy studying Harry’s features – the way his eyes widened for a split second and the way his jaw clenched at Gemma’s insinuation.

“What kind of homework?” Harry asked, trying to save face.

“US Government. We’re doing a presentation on how people gain citizenship into the United States,” Damien informed him.

Gemma walked out of the dining room a moment later when she realized they were just doing homework. Harry lingered for a few more moments, watching Shay. But then he pursed his lips, giving her a look of sympathy or sadness or something before he walked out too.

Having Harry in the house made it almost impossible for Shay to focus on the homework.

“Can we… can we get together sometime this week again? I really should be getting home,” Shay told him.

“Yeah. I mean, yeah. We can. Are you sure you have to go? We’re on a roll,” he said, looking over at her.

“I really should,” Shay said, closing her text book.

“O-okay. We can talk about it in class then,” he offered.

“Okay,” Shay said, standing up to gather her belongings.

Once she had it all packed away in her bag, she gave Damien a wave and told him she’d see him in class on Monday. He smiled and waved before she walked out of the dining room. Shay wanted to say goodbye to Jackie, but she didn’t want to run the risk of having to see Harry again, so she put her winter wear on and exited the house quietly. But apparently she was not stealth enough, because as she was walking down the sidewalk the front door opened and closed quickly.

“Shay!” She heard Harry’s voice. She froze in her footsteps, but she couldn’t turn around.

“Hey,” he said, reaching her.

“Hey,” she repeated, only because her brain wouldn’t let her come up with anything original to say.

“H-how’ve you been?” He asked. Shay closed her eyes tightly, annoyed with the conversation already.

“I feel like I am having déjà vu somehow,” Shay said, opening her eyes to meet his again.

“What do you mean?” He asked, furrowing his eyebrows.

“Do you take some sort of sick pleasure in knowing I’m not doing well?” Shay asked bluntly.

“Shay, no,” he said, shaking his head.

“Then why do you ask? Because pretty much, Harry, I’ve been doing shitty, okay. I don’t have a best friend, I don’t have a brother, and I sure as hell don’t have a boyfriend,” she said as the anger bubbled up inside of her. Harry sighed deeply and looked out into the distance.

“Does that feel good? Taking in your cleansing breath hearing my heartache…” Shay taunted him. His eyes snapped to hers immediately.

“Shay, I’m just as heartbroken,” he snapped at her.

“Yeah, I must have missed that between all the fun shit you’re doing with my dad and Louis,” she scoffed.

“Shay…” He breathed.

“What do you want, Harry?” She asked, rolling her eyes at him.

“If things could be different, they would be,” he told her.

“And why couldn’t they be different, huh? Why the hell does Louis matter over someone you supposedly loved?” She yelled at him.

“Shay…” He said, bowing his head, looking defeated.

“I hope it was good,” she shot at him.

“What?” He asked, looking back into her eyes.

“When you slept with me. I hope it was good. Because that’s all you were after, right?” She said viciously.

“Shay, no! That’s… God. That’s an awful thing to say,” he scoffed.

“Well, it’s an awful feeling to feel,” she retorted.

“It wasn’t like that, okay. It wasn’t like that at all. I-I… God, it’s not like that,” he said, shaking his head.

“I hope Louis can give you what I used to,” she scoffed and started walking off.

“Shay! Please, Shay,” Harry called after her.

“No, Harry. I’m not going to give you a ‘get out of jail free’ card. Because you know what? You promised me! You promised me over and over that you weren’t going to hurt me! And look at me! LOOK AT ME, HARRY! That’s all I feel,” she said honestly as she began crying, even after she told herself she wasn’t going to cry in front of him.

“I never meant to hurt you,” he said as he hung his head again, unable to look her in the eye anymore.

“Your plan failed,” she said finally, turning on her heels again.

He didn’t say another word. He let her leave. And Shay cried the entire walk home.

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