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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7. 7: The one with the song…

Fall 2015

 

As Harry took the stage, the feelings inside of Alyssa began to bubble. The butterflies were doing more damage than good, making her nauseous. She tried to tell herself she was just nervous and excited for him. She also tried to ignore it when Zayn looked over and saw her staring at Harry, looking almost star struck.

“You okay?” Zayn asked.

“I-I… I’m just nervous for him. I’ve never seen him play live like this,” Alyssa told him.

Zayn gave her a sideways stare down for a moment, but took her reasoning at face value and turned his gaze back to his brother.

Harry got on the microphone thanking the charity for all they were doing for the community. Alyssa stared at him, unaware of her surroundings. It was like she had tunnel vision and all she could see was Harry. She didn’t snap out of it until the crowd clapped right before he began to sing. 

Same lips red, same eyes blue. Same white shirt, couple more tattoos. But it’s not you and it’s not me. Tastes so sweet, looks so real. Sounds like something that I used to feel. But I can’t touch what I see,” Harry sang, rarely looking out at the crowd.

Alyssa could tell he was nervous and it only made her sickened stomach worse. But then as the chorus started in, he looked up and found her eyes staring back at him. Their gaze locked on one another and Alyssa was frozen.

We’re not who we used to be. We’re not who we used to be. We’re just two ghosts standing in the place of you and me, trying to remember how it feels to have a heartbeat,” he sang straight to her, never breaking their stare.

Once the second verse came up, he let his gaze fall. Alyssa didn’t realize she was holding her breath until his eyes weren’t on her anymore, and she let it out quite noticeably.

“Seriously, are you okay?” Zayn asked again.

“Uh, yeah. Fine,” Alyssa told him, feeling flustered. 

Harry’s gaze didn’t meet Alyssa’s again through the rest of the song and it made her wonder why he found her, of all people in the crowd, to sing to during that first chorus. She tried to block it out of her mind the best she could, because it made her feel weird. Actually she didn’t even know what to feel. It had been an odd day.

Once the song finished, Harry said a quick thank you in the mic and the lights dimmed. It only took about a split second before everyone to clap and cheer for him. He was absolutely amazing up there. He was so incredibly talented. And it was such a pleasure for Alyssa, having not seen him sing or perform in nearly five years. Harry stopped letting her into his world around the time she and Zayn began their little prank war on him, which in turn made him shut her out of his music – which was his whole world.

 

Winter 2010

 

“Hey…” Alyssa greeted quietly, standing in the doorway of the music room as Harry just finished playing the piano.

“Hey, Lyssa,” Harry said, smiling back at her.

“That sounded awesome,” she told him.

“Do you want to hear it? I mean… like what I have?” He asked, looking hopeful.

“I’d love to, Haz,” she said, sending him a small smile as she sat down next to him on the piano bench. 

For a moment, his fingers hovered over the keys before he began to play.

“’Close the door. Throw the key. Don’t wanna be reminded. Don’t wanna be seen. Don’t wanna be without you. My judgment's clouded like tonight's sky. Hands are silent. Voice is numb. Try to scream out my lungs. It makes this harder. And the tears stream down my face. If we could only have this life for one more day. If we could only turn back time, you know I’ll be your life, your voice, your reason to be. My love, my heart is breathing for this moment in time. I’ll find the words to say before you leave me today,’” Harry sang passionately as he played the keys beautifully on the piano.

“Uh, that’s all I’ve got,” he said, looking over at Alyssa, his cheeks flushing red.

“Harry… that was amazing,” she told him, wide eyed. She couldn’t keep the smile off her face if she tried. The song was just so beautiful.

“You think so?” He asked as a bashful smile appeared on his lips.

“Yeah. Wow. You just keep getting better and better,” she told him truthfully.

He smiled and blushed, hanging his head, being adorably bashful.

“You’re only sixteen, Harry. How do you… how do write stuff like that?” Alyssa asked.

“Like what?” He asked, furrowing his brow in question.

“I don’t know… stuff that’s so grown-up. Like about love and stuff,” she said with a shrug of her shoulders.

“Just because I’m sixteen doesn’t mean I can’t feel something like love,” he replied matter-of-factly, his cheeks still almost blood red.

“Do you, Harry? Do you love someone?” Alyssa asked with a slight smirk on her face.

“I don’t know,” he said, chuckling nervously.

“Harry…” Alyssa smiled and nudged him with her shoulder.

“I guess… there’s a girl I like,” he confessed.

“What’s her name?” Alyssa asked curiously.

“You don’t know her,” he said quickly, looking away from her.

“Well, what’s her name?” She asked again.

“You’ll just tell Zayn and then I won’t hear the end of it,” Harry said, shaking his head.

“Hazza, you don’t trust me?” Alyssa scoffed.

“I don’t trust Zayn,” he corrected.

“I won’t tell him. I pinky swear,” Alyssa promised him as she held out her pinky. Harry hesitated for a moment or two before linking his pinky with hers. 

“What’s her name?” Alyssa asked again.

“Uh… Alicia,” he said quietly, rubbing his hand across the back of his neck like he was uncomfortable talking about it.

“Hmm. She must be really cute and sweet if Harry Styles likes her,” Alyssa said, smiling widely at him.

“She is,” he said with a smile just as wide on his face. 

Alyssa ruffled her hand through his curls, appreciating the fact that they were still able to hang out and talk like they used to.

“You’re adorable, Hazza. I guess my chance just flew out the window,” Alyssa said with a smile, standing up to make her way out of the room.

“Wait. What?” He asked, the words coming out almost choked.

“Huzzah, Hazza!” Alyssa cheered playfully as she walked toward the door and disappeared out of the room.

 

After Harry’s performance, he was talking to some important looking people who Alyssa didn’t seem to know. All sorts of people were coming up to congratulate him left and right after his performance, which made Alyssa feel proud. He definitely deserved it, because he did a phenomenal job.

She stood near the bar, sipping on her third gin and tonic of the night, just watching him. There was something about seeing him perform again that intrigued her. It brought back a whole slew of memories.

“He was brilliant, wasn’t he?” Waliyha asked as she came up to Alyssa, noticing her vision on Harry.

“What? Oh, yeah,” Alyssa said, breaking her gaze away to look at Zayn and Harry’s seventeen year old sister.

“He owns the stage,” she commented.

“He does,” Alyssa said, looking back over at him.

There was a small lapse in conversation as Waliyha ordered a sparkling water from the bartender before she turned her attention back to Alyssa.

“Do you know Harry hasn’t played any of his music for me in almost five years?” Alyssa told her.

“Actually, I didn’t know Harry ever played his music for you. In all actuality, I don’t remember the two of you ever getting along,” Waliyha replied with a small chuckle.

It was always so hard for Alyssa to remember that Waliyha was only seventeen and probably didn’t remember a whole lot from when Alyssa, Zayn and Harry were growing up together.

“Harry and I actually used to be pretty close. He used to always play his music for me,” Alyssa told her.

“That just seems weird to me somehow. What happened between you two?” She asked, giving Alyssa an odd smile.

“Zayn happened. I decided my feelings for Zayn were worthy enough to ruin a great friendship,” Alyssa sighed, feeling the bitterness well up inside her again.

“What do you mean?” Waliyha asked, crinkling her eyebrows in confusion.

“I don’t know. I think I’m kind of feeling these gin and tonics,” Alyssa told her with a light laugh, trying to break away from the heavy conversation a little.

“Alyssa, what’s really going on?” Waliyha asked, having already caught on to her mood. Alyssa let out another sigh.

“I just miss Harry. I miss our friendship. I actually told him that today,” Alyssa confessed.

“You did?” She asked, looking almost shocked.

“Yeah. He’s a good guy. A great guy actually,” Alyssa told her. But she already knew that Waliyha knew how great of a guy Harry was, because he was her step-brother and they were pretty close.

“He really is,” she agreed as the two of them both watched Harry from across the ballroom.

Alyssa took another sip of her gin and tonic, watching as Harry shook hands with the director of the charity. Without even realizing it, she let out another weighted sigh.

“Jeez, Lyss. Just go talk to him then,” Waliyha said with a giggle and a light shove to her shoulder.

“What? No. He’s busy,” Alyssa said, waving it off.

“You sure are acting awkward tonight, girl,” she laughed.

“I feel awkward,” Alyssa admitted.

“Just go. I’m sure Harry would love to talk to you,” she encouraged.

Alyssa bit her lip watching him. Why was she acting so weird? Why was it so hard? It was just Harry. She took a large gulp of her drink before setting it down on the bar. A little liquid courage would help, she supposed. Looking back at Waliyha, she gave her a small smile to say ‘here goes nothing’ before she headed in Harry’s direction. She had no idea what she would say or what they would possibly talk about. But, oh well. It was just Harry, right?

Harry’s eyes immediately caught Alyssa’s as she walked across the ballroom toward him. The man Harry was talking with seemed to notice Harry’s attention being occupied elsewhere, and simply just backed away. Because as Alyssa approached Harry, she vaguely realized the man was no longer standing there anymore.

“Hi,” Alyssa said softly.

“Hi,” Harry said back.

And she realized it didn’t matter if they had anything else to say, because ‘hi’ was enough for the both of them.

 

 

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