They Don't Warn You

I'm the kind of person to be in love with Harry Styles though I've never met him. I'm not the kind to memorize every single family member or person he's become acquainted with. I swear to you, I had no idea who Ben Selley was. I'm also not the kind of person to turn a guy away when we're having fun.
Unfortunately, these facts have kind of gotten me into trouble. Ben has dubbed me his girlfriend without my permission, and I'm the kind of girl to go along with it. Ben is the kind of guy to let it slip his mind that he never told you that the cousin he's introducing you to is Harry Styles.
I know Harry isn't the type of person to treat me the way that he does. I watch him treat everyone else like they're the greatest thing to walk the earth. Because he doesn't look at me that way, the little things mean everything. Even though hope comes around so seldom, I'm the kind of person that still makes Harry Styles my world.

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 I never meant to start dating Ben Selley. I didn't even realize it was happening at first. I went to a tiny private school all of my life where boys and girls alike were all the best of friends. There were about six or so kids per grade, and maybe because we had no other options, we were super close. What else were we supposed to do? Ignore or hate the few potential friends that we had? We had to spend all day, every day together, so obviously we learned to get along very well.

I'd seen so many kids come and go to that school, but most of the time it was a pretty even split between the amount of girls and the amount of guys in each class. In college, for whatever reason, the girls and guys seemed to be a little more segregated. Maybe I wasn't making enough effort to get in some of the guys' circles, but either way, I was missing male company.

Not that I was desperate to date or addicted to being with guys or anything. It's not about, like, "getting together" with them at all. I enjoy their personality. You know, the stuff that makes a guy a guy. Carefree, and funny. Guys are most often just entertaining. I missed being around them.

It's kind of a crazy thing that I met Ben at all, actually. I mean, he was a fairly covetous person to be around. A cool, charming, exotic guy-from England-in LA to study music, and handsome to boot. I didn't know who he was at the time, but some of the other girls did. I didn't know this until later, though. Not until-Well, I'll tell you at another point. It's not about Harry right now.

It was also an odd coincidence because I didn't really feel like going to the third floor open door party that night. I sometimes like to go to the parties, and my roommate, Catie, even convinced me to host one during another floor party. I'd quietly laugh at the drunks flirting or stumbling or just doing some dumb thing, and maybe chat with a seldom, random sober person if they'd find me.

The thing is, most of the sober people don't stay sober for long. I can talk my way out of indulging in alcohol, or just walk away from whoever is trying to pressure me. I didn't feel like making the effort that night, though. I don't see the appeal of acting like one of the people I laugh at to wake up in the morning feeling crappy and trying to remember how stupid I was the night before.

I went anyway, because Catie and I knew one of the girls on the third floor who would be keeping her door open, and Catie actually really wanted to go, but not alone. She said I could bring my book, and she'd only bother me in emergencies, and she wouldn't even care if I didn't talk to anyone else while I was there or paid attention to the party at all.

This seemed fair enough to me. I had incredible concentration skills sometimes, so if I really did want to focus on reading, I could totally do it. I would be able to hear the noise from the first floor anyway. I could people-watch if I felt like it, then turn to my book if it looked like someone was interested in talking to me to keep them away. I've come to learn that most people don't feel like making the effort to pull someone's nose out of a book. The person is automatically assumed boring and not worth it.

So after walking into the party in a dorm room I was already familiar with, Catie hanging onto my arm, I dropped onto the couch and she fluttered away. I kept my book open on my lap, poised and ready to shield me from social drudgeries, sometimes people-watching, and sometimes protecting myself with said book.

I didn't have too much trouble keeping people away that night even when I was people-watching because once they spotted the book, they didn't give me a second glance. It was what I wanted, but it was kind of disappointing. It always went the same way. We locked eyes, theirs dropped to my book, so then mine did, too. I caught the first few words on the page that I'd left off at, just long enough to reevaluate my place. I'd look back up, and their eyes had already moved on. I glanced at them at the end of every sentence for the whole paragraph, but they were never looking back at me.

It was after one of these experiments that I decided to stop people-watching and I actually really got into my book. I randomly glanced up from my book for just a second, just to give my eyes a moment's break, and I saw a boy with brown, curly hair and turquoise eyes looking back at me. It felt different from everyone else who'd glanced at me that night. His eyes didn't leave mine, so I guess I couldn't tell you for sure if he saw the book or not, but he didn't look away. I tried not to think anything of it, immediately going back to my book. I performed my experiment on him anyway, just in case.

One sentence. Still looking. Two sentences, tentative peek, still looking. Staring intently, it seemed, as a matter of fact. Three, four, still looking. Five, and my heart started to beat fast as it looked like he was walking toward me. Halfway through six, he was already standing in front of me.

"You realize you are the most allusive person in this room, therefore also making you the most alluring. You've become the center of attention without noticing or trying. Or perhaps you have," he added as he sat next to me. "What are you majoring in?"

"English."

"Makes sense then." He motioned to my book. "Just checking that you weren't a drama major and duping us all."

"It's my minor, actually," I lied.

"Ah, she's witty. Perhaps you should consider making it a minor."

"I'll keep it in mind."

"So is this conservative thing a farce, or are you always such a drag?" he asked.

"You think I'm a drag?" He had gotten himself off to a nice start, but he might have to loose points for calling me boring. Just saying. Who wants to hear that?

"Only in the sense that you are reading at a party, and not letting people such as myself get to know you. I also notice that you don't have a drink nearby. Can I get you one, or are you straight edge?"

"I suppose you could say that. Hangovers don't appeal to me," I said.

"Fair enough. I'll allow you that one. They aren't pleasant, and really, if we were all wise enough, we might figure out we are poorly indulging, and suffering the consequences. So what has brought you out to this party tonight, if you don't want to drink and you don't want to socialize? I mean, arguably, you could read your book in your room by yourself just as well. The library is also a viable option. Outside, a friend's room, anywhere but here..."

"My roommate didn't want to come alone. I was promised she would allow me to sit on the couch the whole time, plus this room does belong to a friend of ours. I figured I could read in here just as well as in my own room," I explained.

"Fair enough, fair enough. I'm Ben Selley, by the way."

"Blythe." He held out his hand, and I gave him mine. He showed off impressive dimples as he we shook.

"It's a massive pleasure to make your acquaintance, Blythe. Just in case you were curious, I'm a music major."

"Well, I would have survived without knowing it, but thank you for putting me out of potential misery," I teased.

"Ouch. Is this how you treat all the people who are interested in talking to you? Perhaps I can see now why you're sat on the couch by yourself."

"This is how I treat everyone," I agree. "It's how I weed out who will be too stupid or uptight to handle being friends with me."

"Ah. So you think you're smarter and better than everyone else, that's why you sit here by yourself?"

"No, not at all. I just like to pick and choose my friends wisely."

"So you wouldn't say you're smarter than us common folks, but really you are."

"Hey, you're saying it, not me."

"So you're going to accept the compliment?" he asks.

"Exactly."

"So will you allow me to say that I think you are absolutely beautiful and completely charming?"

"Oh, I have no choice but to allow it, I suppose. You're not too bad yourself."

He chuckles in surprise. "I suppose I'll take that as a compliment as well. I'd love to make it on this list of people you deign to spend your time with, Blythe."

"We'll see," I reply with a wry grin.

"You're going to make me work for it, huh?"

I didn't get a chance to respond to him, because our friend began blasting music through her killer speakers. A girl in front of us began thrashing and jumping, drink in her hand, and beer sloshed all over me and my book.

"Oh my gosh," the girl gasped, giggly but apologetic. "I am so sorry."

I puckered my lips in annoyance. "Yeah, well, here's a tip: Perhaps you should be extra cautious to keep those legs of yours still and closed tonight."

I turned back to Ben who still looked at me with a grin and sparkle of amusement in his eyes. "That was mean of you. She didn't do it on purpose."

"You're right. I know. I'm just so not in the mood tonight, and she got it on my book," I complained, turning my stained pages toward him. "It's all right," I told the girl. "Just take my advice, okay?"

She laughed. "I'll try. No promises." She waved her hand and danced away.

"Well, I tried." I shrugged at Ben.

"Yes, sometimes that's all you can do. You did your duty. Actually, you don't know the girl, so that was above and beyond of you. You didn't have to give advice, especially after she spilled her drink all over you. Although, you did snap at her, so perhaps you should look at it as balancing things out a bit."

"She spilled her drink on me. I shouldn't have to balance anything out. Snapping at her was balancing things out. She owes me for the advice."

Ben laughed. "I feel like this was a bad day to meet you on. You're rather horrid."

"Oh gosh," I said, embarrassed, and covering my face with my hands. "That did sound pretty bad, didn't it?"

"Don't worry about it. You amuse me. Besides, I figure this means it would only be right to meet you a second time, to get a true sense of who you are. Plus, there's something to be said about being able to handle you on your worst days, isn't there?"

"Who said this was a bad day for me?" I teased.

"I believe you alluded to it. I also assume that you're ready to go back to your room now that you're covered in alcohol?" he asked.

"Um, yes."

"Can I walk you there?"

"Sure. Let's go."

It was not until we actually reached my door and I jiggled the knob that I remembered that I forgot my key.

"Locked out?" Ben asked.

"Yeah. I guess we better go find my roommate."

"Back upstairs we go."

But when we got back up there, Catie not only wasn't where I left her, I couldn't find her in any of the open door rooms. I called her cell, but she didn't answer.

"Well, this might sound improper, but would you like to come back to my room?" Ben asked. "We can get away from all the din, and I'll let you borrow some dry clothes. I promise I'll be a gentleman."

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