forever

The event changed everything, but a story can’t have a central theme unless there are walls to support it, roads that take you there and on, because I can’t just give you a fact and you understand it fully until I explain it. So here it is; I love Harry Styles, but the roads that I take you on to understand may not be one’s that you really want to travel, so heed the signs on the barren roadsides, and understand. I’ll tell you about the days, thirty before and thirty after, encompassing Harry’s attempted suicide.

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42. 4 days after

4 days after

They still have nothing to say about the tent, though I thought they would throw us out by now. We have all sensibly guessed someone who we work with has been paying them to keep their mouths shut, but I wish they would just let us see Harry. On the fourth day, while we were sitting in our tent playing cards, a nurse scratches her fingernails against the fabric of our tent. Zayn unzips the front and sticks his head out. "What?" he snaps, because we are done waiting and our time hear has made us short-tempered. "You may see Mr. Styles now, but the visit must be kept short." The words are barely out before we are scrambling over each other like puppies, clambering to the elevator. It can't come fast enough. Anne is standing outside his room when we get there, talking quietly in the phone. She takes it away and says, "One at a time, boys." The others don't hesitate before they take a step back, volunteering me, and I find that I am nervous. How do I talk to him? What will he say? But what will I even say? As I step in, I see him in a much worse way than I did before. When he cut that deep gash in his wrist, he was still alive, still alert as he watched me trying to save him. I knew that he would be okay because bad things just didn't happen to us like that. Disasters were for other people, and I think most people thought the same way until tragedy got sick of their arrogance and came back to kick them in the teeth. Harry looks dead. In fact, I stagger back a step, prepared to run and get help until his head slowly turns towards me. The hairs on the back of my neck prickle. Even at his lowest low after The Day, he did not look this badly. His eyes were-for lack of no other word to describe it-dead. Entirely empty and blank as he stares at me. "Hello," he says, and his voice is raspy and shallow. "Here to ask me the same questions as everyone else?" "What have they been asking you?" "Why I did it." He turns away, and I know he doesn't want to talk anymore, and I must say that after days of wishing to be close to him, I want to be very far away from this Harry that is not broken, but absolutely empty. "Why would you try to leave me like that?" I say, and my tone does not come out accusing as I intend, but instead breaks half-way through. There is a pause before he looks up at me again, and I hate that I see pity in his expression, like I'm the messed up one in the scenario. "Because I can't do this anymore, Lou. I can't handle the press and the media and the waiting for something good to happen when it just won't-" "What about the other night?" I all but scream at him. The skin on his cheeks turns the faintest of pinks, but all I can see is how the rest of his skin is sallow, almost tinged yellow in the harsh lights. "It was amazing," he says breathlessly, "but it couldn't happen again. You were going to wake up and realize that you made a mistake, that you just felt sorry for me-" "Don't tell me how I feel!" I am certainly shouting now, and all I think is that this reunion should have gone better. "Because you have pitied me for over thirty days now," he goes on, raising his dry voice over mine. "And I can't take it anymore. I thought you would understand after you read the note, but I suppose not. I've been in love with you for almost five years and you never cared so much until I did this!" He waved he hand in the air, wrist up. "I just wanted one time with you. One time and then I wouldn't bother you anymore." Abruptly, he sags back against the bed, his expression surpassing miserable in a heartbreaking devastation that drains away all my anger far more quickly than I would have liked, honestly. "Just one time," he repeats. "And then I would go. I still want to go," he says wretchedly. "Then I'll follow," I answer, simple and precise, and I don't know where the words come but I do like the sound of them and I mean them. There is a pause where he thinks that through before he lifts his head up slowly, as if it weighs a thousand pounds. "Don't ever take your life," he says, voice soft with an anger that seems to shake him. "I wouldn't," I reply honestly. "But you know a part of me is always going to go where you are." I am out of things to say, and I want him to think it through, so I spin on my heel and leave, but I do turn once and say, "I'm in love you," before I go. Just to let him know that saying 'I love you' wasn't enough. I was in love with Harry, and he loved me back, but I think he was far more in love with the idea of an escape, with the romanticism of a love doomed by nothing but his own pessimistic thoughts. I had always loved him, but the words we never shared, despite the countless opportunities, almost silenced him forever.

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