Can't Remember To Forget You (Harry Styles)

There's one person that can see right through the façade Chloe Hayes puts on after her life is turned around, and it's none other than her soon-to-be step brother, Harry Styles.

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22. ~Chapter Twenty~

“I love you.” Harry whispers to me as I float back into consciousness.

I open my eyes and rub the sleep from them so I can look at the handsome man laying next to me.

“I love you too.” I whisper back. My heart is beating incredibly fast, but I needed to say it… get it over with.

I know that sounds terrible; I truly love Harry, it’s just… I’m terrified. That’s why I didn’t tell him for two weeks after he told me he loved me, and that’s why I’m still nervous to tell him.

I figured I was just being a coward by not reciprocating the words, so I needed to man up and tell him. He needs to hear it, and hopefully this will ease his tension about me not saying it back.

I love him. So why is it so hard to tell him?

A smile instantly formed on his face, reaching ear to ear. His large hands caressed my face as he planted numerous kisses on my lips, cheeks, jaw and neck.

“Chloe.” He whispers breathlessly into my neck. “You make me so happy, baby. I love you so much, thank you.” Harry tells me in between kisses to my neck.

I bite my tongue and try to enjoy this moment even though it’s hard. I’ve never felt so afraid, and I keep telling myself that I’m just being silly. I love Harry more than I’ve ever loved anyone, but maybe that’s why I’m so scared. I’m terrified of losing him, or moving to fast and breaking my heart again, and I can’t have that happen.

Just let it happen, Chloe. My conscience tells me. Things will be okay if you let them. Be happy, you deserve this.

I relax a little after my mental pep talk, and begin kissing him back, threading my fingers through his hair. What is there to fear? Harry is beyond perfect, and for some reason he loves me. That’s all I need.

We kiss for a few minutes before taking a break to snuggle up together and lazily waste our Friday away. Thankfully we have the day off of school because the quarter just ended yesterday. Harry and I definitely need this day to spend some time alone together.

“I need to go do a few things. Do you mind if I leave for a few hours?” Harry asks while absentmindedly stroking my hair.

“Where do you need to go? Can I come with?”

“It’s something I have to do alone, but it’ll only take a little bit.” He responds. I’m curious for a moment, but I really don’t dwell much after that. We’ve been together as much as we possibly could without making anyone suspicious in the past few weeks, so I know he probably has things to do, and I know I could use some alone time.

“Okay. I’ll probably go over to Brynn’s. She wanted to hang out today.”

“Why don’t you just stay here until I get back?” He suggests, his hand stopping its movements in my hair. “Then we can go to Liam’s house… everyone’s hanging out there because his parents are out of town.”

“We can go later tonight. Brynn will be bummed if we don’t do something today. I’ve been blowing her off a lot lately to hang out with your friends.”

“They’re your friends too, Chloe.” He says with a slight edge to his voice.

“I know,” I agree. I don’t know why I still call them ‘his’ friends. Out of habit, I suppose.

“Okay, so why can’t you just stay here and wait for me?”

“Why does it matter? Once your done doing whatever you need to do, you can pick me up and we’ll go to Liam’s together.” I compromise.

“Just fucking stay here!” He snaps and removes himself from the bed. “I won’t be long, so will you just stay here?” He adds a little more calmly.

Okay then…

“Fine.” I agree despite my confusion.

Why is he acting like this? He has been becoming increasingly more and more controlling in the past weeks, and I’m choosing it to blame it on the fact that he’s new to this whole relationship thing.

“Thank you.” He mutters and runs his hands through his hair. He walks over to wear he discarded his jeans before we went to bed and pulls them on, then he walks over to the bed where I am still sitting on.

“Kiss me goodbye.”

I oblige and sit up on my knees to reach his mouth. His kiss is demanding yet sweet; controlling yet passionate.

“I love you,” He whispers and rests his forehead against mine while he waits for me to say it back.

“I love you too, Harry.”

He smiles in response and kisses me one last time before leaving the room.

Wow. That was an… interesting way to start my morning.



~~~~



After taking a long, steamy shower and getting ready for the day, I decide to spend some time out back by the pool and lay in the sun.


Ever since I moved here, I haven’t really had the chance to enjoy my Dad’s beautiful home. Between everything that was going on between my Mum and then my Dad, and now Harry, I haven’t gotten to spend anytime out here—my favorite part of the whole house.

It was also nice to enjoy an empty house while I ate breakfast this morning. Dad and Anne are already at work like they usually are on weekdays, but it’s rare that when they’re gone that I’m alone here. Harry and I have been sure to take advantage of the time they are out of the house because it is rare that we get to have time alone without worrying about them walking in on us.

For once, I just get to lay in my swimsuit out by the beautiful infinity pool that overlooks the Pacific Ocean, and be left alone with my endless thoughts.

My mind goes into a full out war with the conflicting thoughts I’m having about Harry. Harry. He’s all I think about these days… but how could I not?

I love him, and he obviously knows I do now, but I’m scared as all hell. Half of me is thinking I’m stupid for being afraid and that I just need to let myself love him, and the other is just flashing red stop signs. It’s telling me I need to slow down before I get hurt again, and I can only account that feeling to the fact that everyone who I’ve ever let myself love has hurt me… My Mum lied to me about why Dad left, Dad left me for nine years without an explanation, and Grant just ripped out my heart.

I don’t get to decide which half I’m going to agree with when I hear the door to the back patio slams shut and Harry cursing under his breath as he makes his way over to me.

I sit up and put my sunglasses on while I watch him run over to me. He’s out of breath, and I am beyond confused… once again.

“What the fuck are you doing out here? I looked all over the house for you. Why wouldn’t you tell me you’d be out here so I didn’t have to search everywhere for you?” He asks me angrily.

Holy hell.

“Calm down, Harry! I’m fine, I’m right here.” I try to smile in reassurance, hoping his outrage is just a result of him being worried that he couldn’t find me.

“I thought you left, Chloe. I thought you went to Brynn’s after I told you not to.” He says through his ragged breath.

I stand up and cup his face in my hands, hoping to calm him down. “I’m here, okay? I didn’t leave, I just wanted to lay out in the sun for a little bit.” I smile and wrap my arms around his torso in a reassuring hug. I’m telling him I’m sorry that he worried about me, that I’ll try not to scare him like that again.

He winces when my arms tighten around him, and I quickly loosen my grip and look up at him. “Is it your ribs? Are they still sore from the accident?” I ask him.

“Yeah.” He takes a deep breath. “They still ache a little, but I’m trying to get off those pain meds. I guess I’ll have to take another.”

“I’m sorry.” I tell him and kiss his cheek. Sorry for not telling him I was out here—although I don’t understand why he worried so much—and sorry for causing him pain.

“Don’t be, baby.” He sighs. “I love you. I’m sorry I overreacted, I just…” He begins. I wait for him to finish his thought, but he never does.

“I love you.” I tell him and in return I’m rewarded a smile. Looks like he’s back in good spirits. “I just need to change, then I’ll be ready. You still up for Liam’s?”

“Yeah, let’s leave in ten minutes.”

“Okay.”



~~~~



Harry insists we stop for lunch on the way to Liam’s, and I eventually agree even though I had only had breakfast a couple of hours ago.


I order a small salad and Harry orders a burger, and we sit in silence for a few minutes before he says something that helps me understand why he wanted to come here and talk.

“Do you really love me? Or did you just tell me that because you feel bad for me.” His eyes show pain and sadness. I know he’s referring to the story he told me about his sister, and I can immediately feel the ache in my heart for this boy sitting across from me.

I’m quick to remove myself from my side of the booth and scoot in next to Harry. I carefully wrap my arms around his neck and hold him close to me, whispering into his ear: “I love you because you make me happy. Because you always help me when I need it. Because you’re there for me, and because you make me feel like I can be myself.. like I don’t have to put on this front and be who I think I should be.” I admit.

I feel him nod against my neck and his hands grip the fabric of my shirt on my back. “I love you, Harry.” It finally feels easy to say it.

“Thank you.” He whispers with his accent thick.

“Don’t thank me, thank the brain that for some reason is telling me I love you.” I try to joke and lighten the mood. I pull out of our embrace that probably looked very odd to everyone in this restaurant, and look him in the eyes. I notice his are red and brimmed with tears.

My heart starts to ache again.

I take my thumb and swipe under one of them to catch the tear that is about to roll down his cheek and smile at him. “I love you.” I tell him again.

It wasn’t apparent to me before that he would need me to remind him so many times, but for some reason, he feels like I don’t love him and that I might be slipping away from him. I guess we almost feel the same way.

“No one’s ever loved me before.” He says and a small smile appears on his lips. “I’ve never loved someone before. I don’t know how this works, Chlo, but I just, I need you. It’s making me crazy, whatever this feeling is, and I just need to know you won’t leave me.”

His words frighten me again like they did a week ago when he woke me up, buried deep inside me as he voiced these same concerns of me leaving him. What if I can’t be who he needs me to be and he gets to attached? Or vice versa? What will happen then?

“I won’t.” I decide to just fix one concern at a time. “I’m here, Harry. You’re not getting rid of me anytime soon.” I smile and lean in to kiss him.

“Sorry.” He drops his head and looks down at his lap. “I’m being a girl.”

“Hey!” I smack his chest. “There’s nothing wrong with being a girl.” I tease.

“Easy for you to say.” He finally laughs. “But I really am sorry. I’m trying to be someone you deserve, and I just get caught up in my emotions some times. Like I said, this is all new to me.”

“Don’t.” I tell him and force him to look at me. “I don’t want you to try to be someone you think I deserve. The truth is, I want you, and whether I deserve you or not, I don’t want you to change. I love you for who you are, got it?”

He begins to object, but the waitress comes to our table and sets the food in front of us. “Is there anything else I can get you?”

“Another Diet Coke for my girl.” Harry says and kisses my cheek in front of her. For some reason my heart goes crazy over him doing that. I really am hopelessly in love with this guy.

“Thank you.” I tell the older woman before she walks away to get my soda.

I turn back to Harry and look him in the eyes. “Got it?” I repeat, needing him to promise me he won’t change simply because he thinks that’s what I deserve.

“Got it.” He says on a nod even though I know he doesn’t agree with me. And I love him all the more for that… He wants to be a better man for me, and even though the thought is humbling, I love him the way he is, and he needs to realize that.

I begin to scoot out of his side of the booth to return to mine when he grabs me by the waist and refuses to let me leave. “Stay by me.”

I smile and nod as he slides my salad in front of me. His hand never leaves my leg, and I find myself eating extra slow and wishing I had ordered more food just so we could sit here forever.

Harry leans in closer to me as we’re about to leave our table to get on our way to Liam’s. “I love you, Chloe. Everything about you.”

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