Stay - HS

Alexia Roberts was just a normal British girl. 22 years old, working at a Starbucks in London. She had a perfectly boring future planned out before Harry Styles showed up and made it flawed, but also fun. When the end finally comes, it all depends on Alexia. Will she choose to stay or go?

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33. Chapter 33

Harry's POV

"What took you so long?" my mum grinned and let me in. The sweet aroma of a Christmas dinner drifted through the house. I inhaled and slightly smiled, recalling childhood memories. 

"Nothing," I said, not willing to talk about it. "Lost track of time."

We went to the dining room (after I plopped my presents for everyone under the Christmas tree), where my family and friends greeted me. (A/N: The names in here aren't actually Harry's friends' names. Or maybe some are. Probably not.)

"Where were you mate? We were waiting for you!" Rowan clapped me on the back.

I shrugged and took my seat next to my dad. As soon as I sat, the dinner began. 

"So... Harry. How's uh... what do you call it? Um... tour. How's tour?" Des asked. He spoke under the loud conversation going on between everyone else. I was a lot like my dad. We didn't speak much in situations like these, and if we did, it's usually quietly to someone next to us.

"It's good." I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. 

"What about that girl of yours?"

I resisted the urge to frown. Maybe it's just me, but it seemed extremely disrespectful to Alexia the way he said it.

"She's good." I took a sip of my wine.

"What's her name again?" he asked as if I've ever told him her name.

He kept trying to keep up the conversation that I was trying to shut down. It wasn't because I disliked my dad, it's just I haven't been around him for so long, I don't even know what kind of person he is now. When I meet people, I like to kind of figure out what kind of person they are. If they're carefree, strict, impatient, sensitive, gentle, etc. That way, I know how to act around them. But Des... he's been away for so long that I'm afraid he's changed. For the better or worse?

"Alexia."

"You didn't invite her here?"

"She had her own family gathering to go to." Which wasn't completely a lie... she did, except she couldn't.

Everyone around the table apart from us two laughed. 

Desmond sighed. "Look, Harry. I know you don't like me. I know you haven't completely forgiven me for leaving you, Anne, and Gemma. But can we just try to have a normal conversation? We had one a few years back, didn't we?"

I shook my head. "A few years back. Years, Dad."

"What about we make a deal?"

I stayed quiet, waiting for him to continue.

"You and me go for a walk. We talk like normal father and sons do. If you still don't like me after that, you can stop interacting with me forever."

I thought about it. Should I? 

He's your dad, Harry. You're the one always telling people to give second chances. Plus, don't you kind of miss him? 

"Fine," I agreed. 

Des smiled victoriously. "After dinner."

"Yeah, yeah." I couldn't hold back the small smile that peeked through. 

When I looked up, I met my mum's eyes. She flashed a proud and loving smile at me before turning and talking to Lucy. My stomach rumbled loudly, making the people around me turn and give me weird looks. My dad patted my stomach, letting out a laugh. I grinned sheepishly. 

***

"Why did I agree to go on a walk with you? Should've just stayed at the house." I grumbled, hunched over, tugging my jacket closer to keep in the warmth. Harsh winds whipped against my cheeks, instantly making them pink.

"Just zip up your jacket." 

My dad was walking normally, like it wasn't freezing out here.

"Well I can't because my hands are FROZEN."

He began humming Let It Go. I rolled my eyes and nudged him to shut up. He laughed but stopped. We walked in silence for a bit.

"Do you think we'll ever be the same?" he asked.

"I don't know," I softly replied.

"Can we try?"

I took a while to respond. "Maybe we weren't meant to be the same. I mean, you and I've both changed, so I don't think our relationship would be like it was when I was a kid."

"Remember that time you dropped my phone into the toilet?" Des chuckled.

"You got so mad." I laughed along with him.

"But then you gave me a cookie you found under the couch and it was all okay." 

Our laughter were like twin songs, swirling and mixing together in perfect harmony. Though it soon died down and we got serious again. I suddenly turned and hugged him.

"I've missed you so much," I whispered. 

My dad wrapped his arms around me too. "Me too. You have no idea. You never called, texted, or anything."

I struggled to get the words out. I've never been good at expressing my feelings, except in songs. "I-I was afraid you'd..." I paused. It was like a battle between my head and heart, my heart urging me to say it and my head shouting the 'what ifs'. My heart won. "Reject me," I finally mustered.

"I would never. In fact, I was afraid of the same thing. I love you, Harry."

My body slackened with relief hearing him say those words. "I love you too."

Snow fell around us, bells chimed somewhere off in the distance, music blared from a house, and shadows danced across the street. We payed no attention to those though and stayed in a hug for a long time. Just us. Father and son.

***

"Micheal!" Lily screamed to her husband when he had unzipped the back of her dress, leaving everyone else a clear view of much of her back. Through giggles, my mum helped her zip it back on. And then she was off, chasing Mike around the house. She was surprisingly fast. Not as fast as Alexia, but fast. Though she couldn't beat Mike by running, she was nimble, dodging chairs and tables unlike Mike, who was bumping into every single thing in sight. Everyone went back to doing their thing, but I continued watching them. I remembered the time me and Alexia did something like this. Or maybe it was exactly like this, except with me chasing her. In the end, Mike had given up and just let Lily pounce on him. They laughed, and then kissed. I looked away, obliged to give them their privacy. 

Why hadn't Alexia texted me yet? I mean, it isn't that late that I'd think she'd have gone to sleep. I felt a pang of guilt. Here I was, sitting in a comfortable couch surrounded by people who loved me, and she was in a hospital bed all alone. 

As if on cue, I got a text from her.

Alexia: Hope you're having fun xx

Coincidence or what? 

Harry: It would have been better with you here :(

Alexia: I know. Everything's better with me there

I chuckled.

Harry: I see you have a big ego

Alexia: And you don't?

Harry: Touché

I didn't get to see what she texted back because Charles had stolen my phone.

"Hey!" I whined.

He dangled it in the air and dodged my attempts to get it back. "On your phone?" He tsked. "Go talk to someone!"

"I was." I had another unsuccessful attempt to get it back.

"Come on! Let's go have fun."

I sighed, sensing he wasn't going to give back my phone until I go with him. Standing up, I gave him a lethal glare, to which he just laughed at. Charles led me to his girlfriend, Jasmine.

I gave an exaggerated sigh and jokingly rolled my eyes. "Oh, now you want me to be the third wheel Charles?"

He shrugged. "Sure."

Jasmine reached over and gave me a brief hug. "It's nice to see you again, Harry!"

"You too! Charlie, you've gotten bigger," I teased, using his nickname. He didn't like his name, Charles, so everyone calls him Charlie.

A faint tint of pink appeared on his cheeks and Jasmine laughed.

She patted his stomach. "Yeah, he's been sulking around the house leaving a trail of candy wrappers behind."

"It's not my fault my favourite TV show has been canceled!"

My mouth twisted into a small grin. "A grown man but a child at heart."

"That's good. My soul will always be young. You have an old soul, Harry. And Jasmine... I don't know what kind of soul you have."

"I have a modern soul," Jasmine said.

"Whatever you say."

"Is there such thing as a modern soul?" I asked.

"Well there is now." Jas did a hair flip and purposely sashayed out of the room. Probably into the kitchen to get another drink. Charlie rushed after her, but not before handing my phone back.

I excitedly switched it open. Disappointment filled my stomach when I realized that she, in fact, had not responded at all. I felt another pang of guilt when I remembered that her mother died from cancer, much like my step-father, Robin. I promised myself I would be there for her, I promised her I'd be there for her... but I wasn't. Instead, I was at a Christmas party with no one to talk to and my family wasn't even together at the moment because they were all off talking to their friends. 

On the way out, I bumped into my mum.

"Where are you going?" she asked.

"Just out for another walk. Too crowded in here."

She smiled and moved out of my way, calling out over her shoulder, "Be safe! When you return, I'll probably be in the living room if you need me."

Little did she know, I didn't plan on returning. Not when Alexia needed someone... and I wanted to be that someone.

***

"Hey," I whispered into the dark. I was honestly surprised when they let me in, especially at this late hour. Apparently Alexia had specifically requested for a guy named Harry to be let in at any time he wishes. I wasn't sure if requests like those were allowed to be granted, but oh well.

I expected her to be asleep, but a sniffle countered that expectation. I blindly found the bed and reached for her body. I found her arm.

At the touch, she burst into sobs. She sat up and I smothered her into a hug. 

"Harry, I already miss my mum so much. And- and Elizabeth... she hates me. Why does everyone hate me?" She let out a wail. The sound broke my heart. I desperately wished there were something I could do to help, but I couldn't exactly bring her mother back to life.

I rubbed her back. "Shh, no one hates you."

I let her cry into my shoulder. 

When she finished, she sniffled and wiped her nose on her sleeve. "I wish she could come back. Do you wish Robin would come back?"

"All the time. But they're both in a better place now, aren't they?"

"Do you believe in heaven?"

I took a while to respond. "I don't know."

Alexia took even longer to respond. "Once, I remember my mum telling me that she'd much rather die than live. I didn't really take it that seriously, as I thought she was just joking. She told me that she would finally be free. That she would be dancing with Dad somewhere up there in the meadows, but they'd always stop to see what me and Elizabeth would be doing. She wished for magic. And she said up there, there would be tons of it. Do you think that's true?"

"It might be."

"Is it selfish that I want to go and check it out myself?"

My heart nearly stopped. Well, it didn't, but it felt like it. She wanted to kill herself for a taste of happiness. I knew I made her happy too, but she wanted something more. She also wanted to dance in meadows, and she wanted to be free. I realized she was much like me.

I gently pulled her off me and laid her down. "So many questions tonight. Go to sleep, okay?"

Alexia's hand reached out for me. "Are you going to stay?"

I guided it back to her side. "Of course. I'll be right here in the morning, angel."

She yawned. "I wish I was a real angel."

"Me too."

"But you already are."

It was the last thing she said before she fell asleep. A faint smile glowed on my face. Grabbing a pillow, I made myself comfortable in a cushioned chair. The ticking of the clock slowly lulled me to sleep.

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