You + Me + Him

Alyssa Rossi has always been in love with Zayn Malik. Zayn has always been her best friend, but never shared her feelings. Harry Styles was Zayn’s pesky step-brother and has always hated Alyssa because she and Zayn always got into trouble together. They were teenagers, now they’re all adults. Things can change in a blink of an eye. And they did.

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4. 4: The one with the confrontation…

Fall 2015

 

Alyssa woke the next morning alone in her bed, which was no surprise. Zayn wasn’t one to stick around after he got what he wanted. It was disappointing, but if she let every disappointing thing Zayn did get to her, she would be a very unhappy person. She tried her best not to let his escape-act bother her. 

She needed coffee. If she was going to get through the day, she was certain she needed coffee. She stumbled her way out of her room, immediately surprised by the smell of food. It wasn’t every day she woke up to the smell of bacon wafting throughout her house.

“Zayn?” Alyssa called out, confused on whether or not it was actually him that was doing the cooking.

“Hey, Lyss! In the kitchen,” he announced, and she immediately followed his voice and the lovely smell of breakfast. 

She walked into the kitchen with a confused look on her face. Zayn was standing in front of the stove cooking up some eggs and turkey bacon. He was fully clothed, and it almost disappointed her until she saw Harry sitting at the kitchen table drinking a glass of orange juice. Her spirits sank instantly. She sighed as she walked toward the cupboard that housed the glasses and grabbed one for herself. 

“You want some food?” Zayn asked as he playfully smacked her bum.

“Zayn!” Alyssa giggled, sending him a sharp glare.

“Whatever you want, I’m making it,” he said, smiling at her as his eyebrows bounced freely.

“Eggs and bacon is fine,” she told him.

“Okey-dokey,” he said as he contently scooted the scrambled eggs around in the frying pan.

Alyssa walked toward the kitchen table where the jug of orange juice sat and poured herself a glass, eyeing Harry skeptically as he read the Arts & Leisure section of the newspaper. Alyssa eyed him, wondering what the hell he was doing at their house at such an early hour.

“Hey,” Alyssa said quietly to Harry as she walked toward an open seat at the table, deciding she should probably be cordial. Harry’s response was that of a grunt. Apparently she didn’t even dignify words from him these days.

“Nice talking to you, too. You’re such a breath of fresh air around here, Harold. Not a nuisance at all,” Alyssa said sarcastically, rolling her eyes. He sent her a glare and she returned it right back as she sat down across from him at the table.

“Can’t you two just get along?” Zayn called over.

“Not until Harry grows up,” Alyssa scoffed.

“Me!? I’m not the one who does stupid shit every single day of my life. That’s you two!” Harry protested immediately.

“Like what?” Alyssa shot back at him, feeling absolutely annoyed by his presence.

“Oh, how about the time you two super-glued a hundred-dollars worth of quarters to my bedroom floor,” Harry stated irritably.

“Come on, that was funny!” Alyssa laughed, turning to look back at Zayn who was chuckling to himself at the stove.

“Yeah, I’m sure it was funny when you had to pay to get the floor refinished,” Harry scoffed, rolling his eyes as he shook out the creases in the newspaper.

“It was worth it!” Zayn called out.

“It was,” Alyssa giggled into her glass of orange juice.

“Or how about the time you replaced all my white v-necks with toddler sizes and tried to blame Trisha for shrinking my clothes,” he pointed out.

“Ha! Classic!” Alyssa laughed, clapping her hands together. She and Zayn were little shits back in the day, and she loved it.

“Come on, we so got you with that one,” Zayn laughed, turning to acknowledge his little brother from across the kitchen.

“My point is, you two need to grow up! I can’t imagine all the crap you’re getting into now that you’re live together,” he scoffed as he folded up the paper and tossed it down on the tabletop.

“We don’t get in trouble anymore. We’re adults. We do what we want,” Alyssa told Harry, quirking her eyebrow at him.

“Adults don’t have to say they’re adults to prove they’re adults,” Harry quickly shot at her.

“What? You’re confusing,” she said, looking at him oddly, his words tangling in her brain. He scoffed again, shaking his head at her.

“Here, beautiful,” Zayn said, placing a plate of eggs and bacon in front of Alyssa. He kissed her on the head before he went back to his post at the stove, singing to himself.

“Thanks, Zaynie,” Alyssa said, smiling brightly.

She looked up to find Harry glaring at her. His eyes flashed with the hint of jealousy before they settled on complete distaste. 

What?” Alyssa shot at him.

“Why do you put up with him?” Harry asked in a hushed tone. Alyssa glared at him for a moment before she scoffed.

“Why do I put up with him making me breakfast and being sweet to me? I don’t know, Harry. Why would I ever put up with that?” Alyssa said sarcastically, getting so annoyed with him butting in where he didn’t belong.

“You know that’s not what I mean,” he countered immediately.

“Harry, mine and Zayn’s relationship is none of your business,” she told him as she took a bite of a piece of turkey bacon.

“What relationship? He screws you, but goes out and screw other girls too. He treats you like garbage most days and you just let him walk all over you,” Harry spat out angrily, his eyes narrowing dangerously.

“I don’t need a lecture from you,” Alyssa snapped.

“I’ve watched you fall apart over him for years, Alyssa…” Harry began. But she didn’t want to hear another word he had to say. He was bitter and negative, and she didn’t want to hear it – not on a day when Zayn’s maniac side was in full swing.

“Shut up. Seriously, Harry. Just shut up,” Alyssa growled at him.

“You’re in denial,” he threw in, causing her to scoff again.

“And you’re an asshole,” she shot at him.

“How am I an asshole? I’ve been trying to look out for you for years,” he scoffed incredulously.

“Just stay out of it!” Alyssa yelped, feeling the anger welling up inside of her. She didn’t need him to ‘look out for her’. She didn’t need him to bother at all.

“You’re weak,” he scoffed, sitting back in his chair.

“What are you two arguing about now?” Zayn asked as he walked into the dining room with his own breakfast plate. He took the seat next to Alyssa, and sat down, looking between them.

“Nothing,” they both said as they glared at one another. 

There was an unclenching tension during the remainder of breakfast – between Harry and Alyssa at least. It definitely rivaled the night and morning after Harry caught her and Zayn in bed together that first time.

 

 

Summer 2012

 

After Mr. Styles got done lecturing the hell out of Alyssa and Zayn for being so careless while watching their siblings, he received a phone call from Alyssa’s mother. She had to work late and wondered if Micah and Alyssa could spend the night. Des and Trisha obliged willingly, but made sure to let Alyssa and Zayn know they were still in trouble as far as they were concerned. Naturally, they both shrugged it off completely and went about their night like it was any other day. Mr. Styles always blew his top over their antics, but in the end, he was always just the loveable teddy bear of a man he looked like from afar. He was like a second father to Alyssa.

Micah and Safaa picked out a movie – a PG one – and went to watch it in Safaa’s room. Doniya, Zayn, Harry and Alyssa sat in the TV room watching the movie Bridesmaids. Alyssa sat between Doniya and Zayn on the couch while Harry sat in his dad’s recliner. Alyssa kept catching Harry staring over at her and Zayn and it was bugging the hell out of her because she knew it was because of what he witnessed earlier in the day. Little perv. But more than being a pervert, she knew he was pissed about it. They were pretty careless after all. 

After the movie finished, the four of them dispersed. Doniya went to bed because she had to work early in the morning. Zayn and Alyssa went to his room to get their pajamas on. And who knows where Harry went. Zayn gave Alyssa a pair of shorts and a t-shirt to wear and she went to the bathroom to change – to appease Des and Trisha who were oblivious to her and Zayn’s sexual relationship. As Alyssa was coming out of the bathroom, she heard Harry talking to his dad in his and Trisha’s bedroom.

“Don’t you think Zayn and Alyssa are getting a little too old to be sharing a bed?” Harry asked him.

“Harry, they’ve been having sleepovers since they were thirteen. I think they know how to handle themselves with each other. Besides, they’re nineteen. They’re adults,” Des said, shrugging Harry off.

“Yeah, but, it’s weird,” Harry continued.

“If we were going to forbid them from having sleepovers we would have done it a long time ago. His mother and I trust them, Harry,” he went on to say.

“I think you’re a little too trusting,” Harry mumbled. Alyssa’s heart began to pound in her chest at the thought of Harry telling his father what he saw earlier. That little shit.

“Do you know something I don’t know, Harry?” Des questioned him.

“N-no. I’m just saying… it’s weird,” Harry said, causing Alyssa to breathe a breath of fresh air. He kept their secret and Alyssa was grateful, but she was also pissed he would even bring up the topic with his dad.

“I trust Alyssa,” Des threw in.

“Like I said, I think you’re a little too trusting,” Harry said again. Alyssa growled under her breath, certain she was going to threaten the life out of that little twerp when she got her hands on him.

“Harry, go to bed,” Des said finally.

“Fine,” he scoffed and stomped out of the bedroom. 

Alyssa immediately grabbed him by the shirt collar and pulled him into his own bedroom, pushing him aggressively down on his bed.

“What the hell, Harry?” Alyssa snapped at him, glaring down at him.

“What?” He asked, looking up at her with wide, terrified eyes.

“I heard the crap you were saying to your dad – about how he shouldn’t trust me and Zayn,” Alyssa said, replaying the events.

“Well, he shouldn’t!” He said boldly.

“It’s none of your god damn business. We’re nineteen-years-old,” Alyssa told him in a hushed tone.

“And how long have you been screwing him? Huh, Alyssa?” He shot at her. Her eyes narrowed again. She wanted to punch him straight in the nose.

“You think I don’t know?” He asked.

“Shut the hell up,” she snapped at him, trying to sound as threatening as possible.

“He’s just using you for sex,” Harry told her.

“Zayn and I are best friends,” Alyssa countered, as if it was the end-all and be-all of answers to anything regard her and Zayn.

“And nothing more,” Harry shot at her bitterly.

“What the hell is your problem with me? You’re such an asshole and I never did anything to you,” she told him, feeling hurt by his statement, even though deep down maybe she knew it was true.

“I don’t have a problem with you,” he told her, looking at her absurdly.

“Except for the fact that you’ve practically made it your life goal to get me into trouble,” Alyssa scoffed impatiently.

“You’ve done that all on your own. The world doesn’t revolve around you, Alyssa,” he told her, rolling his eyes.

“You used to be such a nice kid, Harry. When did you become so bitter and spiteful?” She told him.

“When did you become so dependent?” He asked, answering her question with a question.

“Dependent?” She shot at him.

“Yeah, on Zayn. When did you become so close-minded? So unoriginal? Zayn’s changing you and not for the better,” Harry spat out, tearing her down even further.

“I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about,” Alyssa told him with a heavy scoff.

“That’s because you’re heads stuck so far up Zayn’s ass. All that matters to you is him,” he pointed out.

“You’re getting on my last nerve, Harry. You have no idea what you’re talking about,” she told him.

“Whatever. I’m done,” he said, crossing his arms tightly over his chest.

“Done with what?” She asked angrily.

“Dealing with you two! Have fun with each other. I hope you’re happy – even though I know you won’t be because Zayn is an ASSHOLE!” Harry started yelling and continued yelling at her as she walked out of his room, not wanting to listen to his bitter words anymore. He could deny it all he wanted – he had changed. 

 

The next morning was a silent one. No one seemed to want to speak at breakfast. Zayn was too tired, almost falling asleep in his Cheerios. Safaa and Micah already ate and were watching cartoons in the TV room. Harry and Alyssa sat across from each other feeling the tension between them, but not saying a word about it. Alyssa wanted nothing more than to just go home and forget about both Zayn and Harry for a little while. 

“What is with you two?” Zayn asked, looking back and forth between the two of them.

“What do you mean?” Harry asked his older brother.

“You’ve been giving each other death glares all morning,” Zayn pointed out. Sure, he decided now to finally be aware of his surroundings.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Harry said, still staring spitefully at Alyssa.

“Harry was tattling to your mom last night about how we shouldn’t be sleeping in the same bed anymore,” Alyssa told Zayn, being just as spiteful. Harry’s eyes narrowed into slits as he looked at her. If looks could kill…

“You didn’t tell, did you!?” Zayn snapped.

“No! You’re still alive, aren’t you? Pretty sure my dad would have killed you. And then Alyssa’s dad would have revived you and killed you again,” Harry scoffed, sending a glare in Zayn’s general direction.

“You better keep your fucking mouth shut,” Zayn warned his little brother in a hushed tone.

“Or what?” Harry challenged him.

“Or I’m going to kill you and then Zayn’s going to revive you and kill you again,” Alyssa told Harry, using his words against him.

“You guys are both fucked in the head. I am so sick of you two! You piss me off so much!” Harry yelled, scrapping his chair back against the floor as he got up.

“What the hell is your problem?” Zayn asked, watching as Harry made his way toward the sink.

“You guys get away with EVERYTHING and I’m sick of it! When you’re around each other you’re like a chemical explosion, just messing with everybody! I am sick of it! You two need to grow the HELL UP!” Harry yelled before he threw his cereal bowl in the sink and stormed out of the kitchen.

Alyssa sat at the table, swallowing back the lump in her throat, because she knew he was right.

“I think I’m going to take Micah home,” she said quietly as she got up from her own seat. Zayn nodded and let her leave without another word.

 

Zayn finished up his breakfast, scarfing it down before Harry and Alyssa were even half way through theirs. Alyssa wasn’t feeling all that hungry after reliving the memories she just did. It was nearly three and a half years later and she and Harry were still having the same conversation. She and Zayn never grew up – they were still a chemical explosion, corroding and damaging everything.

Zayn stood up and made his way back to the kitchen to clean up the mess he made while making breakfast.

Harry was quietly eating as Alyssa watched him. He was so peaceful when he wasn’t talking, but there was something written all over his face – a sadness she couldn’t put her finger on. He was twenty-one now. He turned into such a handsome man – so talented in everything he did. He was so different from Zayn. Every feature on his face was lighter and brighter than Zayn’s, right down to his olive green eyes. Alyssa sat there silently wishing they could resolve the bitterness between them and be friends again. She wished their friendship hadn’t deteriorate throughout the years. 

“Harry…” Alyssa said quietly.

He looked up at her, a hopefulness crossed through his eyes before they went back to their usual callousness he wore when he looked at her.

Hmm,” he grunted.

“I’m sorry,” she said in almost a whisper.

“For what?” He asked, his voice cracking. The expression on his face showed he didn’t expect those words to come out of her mouth.

“For everything. For taunting you and being a jackass with Zayn. I’m sorry. I wish we could have stayed friends. You were always a good friend,” she told him.

He nodded, swallowing noticeably. Alyssa could tell he was taking all of her words in, digesting them. It seemed like something he waited to hear all these years – an apology.

“I’m sorry, too,” he said quietly.

“Do you mean it?” She asked hopefully.

“Yes. Do you?” He asked, his eyes light, yet vulnerable.

“Yes,” she said and nodded, meaning it whole-heartedly.

He nodded again, before clearing his throat. Without another word, he stood up from the table, grabbing his plate, before he made his way to the kitchen. Alyssa was left sitting there feeling weighted. She still felt like there was so much left to say.

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