Tattooed Heart: Happily
You don’t understand, you don’t understand what you do to me when you hold his hand. We were meant to be, but a twist of fate made it so we had to walk away.
She hadn’t fallen in love with Paris in the way that she thought she would. Her ideas collected from moments seen in movies, she had envisioned her time spent in the “City of Love” to be way more romantic than what it had turned into. She had dreamt of spending her mornings in a mess of entangled limbs, eyes lazily fluttering open just to be met with a pair of smiling eyes that had been watching her while she slept. Words slipping from their lips in whispered tones as they talked about nothing and everything at the same time - from their plans for the day to what they wanted to venture out and have for breakfast to the culture that they had fallen in love with in just the short time they had spent there. No rush to anything, she had imagined laying in bed until their lips were too chapped, their kisses languid and sloppy, the sheets billowing over top of their heads as they immersed themselves into their own little world underneath the covers until their bodies were sore from being in one position for too long. She had dreamt about the way she would giggle as she tried her best to escape from his hold around her waist as she tried to make her way to the shower, his arms tight against her abdomen in his attempt to keep her with him. Instead just joining her, their showers wouldn’t have been much of a shower and in a way she was glad they didn’t have to pay for the water bill that she knew they would run up.
She had thought she would have spent a little more time exploring everything about Paris. Wandering down abandoned alleyways, getting lost hand in hand as the light of the sun faded behind the various vine-covered buildings that towered over them. Her head on his shoulder until he stopped in the middle of the street, the faint sounds of a French radio station leaking into the quiet air, she had dreamt of the way he would separate from her for just a brief second. Extending his hand out towards her, pulling her close to his chest when she accepted his invitation. Their bodies swaying slowly from side to side and in tiny circles, dancing to words that made absolute no sense to them. His lips hovering by the side of her ear, buried in her hair, she had imagined the way he would tell her how beautiful she was, how much he loved everything about her. Pressing a soft kiss to his lips, she had wanted nothing more to be the cliché couple standing in the middle of a Parisian street, the light of the moon their only spotlight with twinkling stars above them, kissing every corner of each other’s mouths. She had wanted nothing more than to have that romance.
But it hadn’t exactly been that way. And she should have known better than to expect that with anyone else but him.
Lucca had been to Paris multiple times; he had done the typical tourist sightseeing and he had done the exploring adventures that she had been dying to do. But, this was her first time in the city and as much as she had tried to interject her own ideas on their plans for the day, she couldn’t bring herself to tell him no when he suggested going to the Eiffel Tower for the third time since they had landed. She couldn’t bring herself to tell him she would much rather visit the historic museums and stare at paintings and sculptures the entire day. Trying to figure out what exactly the artist had drawn their inspiration from or whether or not it even had a philosophical meaning, she had wanted to get kicked out of the exhibit when the museum was closing. But, he had mapped out their entire stay with his favorite places and she couldn’t break the smile that had constantly been on his face from excitement.
In the four days they had already been there, they had visited the Eiffel Tower more times than she could recount. She had seen it early in the morning, before the rush of the tourists settled in, he had dragged her out of bed at nearly the crack of dawn just so they could see the sun rise above it. A beautiful wash of oranges and pinks painting the sky behind it, she couldn’t deny it’s beauty, she just wished her eyes had been a little more open so she could appreciate the way the different colors weaved in and out of each other, melting into one before fading into the soft blue of the sky. They had had lunch on the lawn in front of it, along with what seemed like every other person in the world. A small buffet of baguettes and salads, a few pieces of chicken mixed in, they had sipped on small glasses of wine and she had listened to various stories about Lucca’s trips around Europe. They had returned to the Tower at dusk during their second day there, her feet sore from all of the walking they had done in their visit to Disneyland, she had inwardly groaned when he suggested climbing to the top and watching the sunset over the city. But, she did it anyway and her breath instantly caught in her throat once they reached the last flight of stairs. Her heart pounding against her chest, she couldn’t bring herself to look down, her fear of heights keeping her body near the landing rather than following Lucca out onto the balcony. His words of encouragement only doing so much to calm the butterflies in her stomach, she clung to his hand when he slowly brought her closer to the railing. His lips repeating “You’re okay” with each step, he finally got her to the point where she could appreciate the way the sky was a bright orange and a deep pink all at the same time. A slight shade of purple streaking as if an artist had taken a random paintbrush to the sky; it was a picture all in its own. She had felt the way Lucca’s arms wrapped around her abdomen, his body standing behind her frame, she had gasped in complete awe.
“I told you you would like it.” He had smirked, her eyes glancing up at him briefly. A smile tugging against her lips, she couldn’t bring herself to respond, her words fading before they even reached her tongue. She had wanted to get a picture of the scene, her hands fumbling for her phone in her shorts pocket and as she went to snap it, she could hear Lucca laughing at the way her hands still shook with nerves. His slightly bigger hands helping her steady the device in her palms, his fingers wrapped completely around hers and no sooner than she had gotten the picture she wanted, he flipped the camera around so that it faced them. Snapping a selfie as if it was totally normal for them - it was their first - her face shocked and laughing in the few that had found their way onto her camera roll. And as she flipped through them, her feet swiping back and forth underneath the covers of the hotel bed, the sun barely peeking through the closed curtains, she couldn’t help but notice the way Lucca had been looking at her that night. His eyes sparkling with the reflection of the city lights, it was a look she had only seen from one other person. A look of complete adoration, it had amazed her that in the short time they had been “dating” (if you could even call it that), he had found some way to resemble that of her last boyfriend, her heart immediately fluttering with each picture that she scrolled through.
Damnit, she cursed in her head. Closing her camera roll and instead deciding to brave her social media apps, she felt out of the loop of the world since their breakup. She had kept herself off of the likes of Twitter and Tumblr since Jay’s wedding and it had been going pretty well since then, but the second she clicked on the white little bird icon, she regretted ever thinking it was safe. Yes, her mentions were okay - nobody had threatened her life for a good few weeks now and his name was pretty scarce across her timeline, but one look at the trends and her heart nearly sunk to her feet. Clicking on the hashtag too quickly, she found herself opening up ten articles alone, her eyes scanning the text furiously.
She wasn’t sure how serious the rumors were or if they were in fact just that, rumors, but she couldn’t help but notice the way his body leaned towards her as they sat at the small outside table of some restaurant. And as she tumbled deep into the hole that was his speculated dating life, it was hard to ignore the way he bounced around the stage in concert videos that were taken right around the time he had reportedly started dating again, his long hair much longer than any length she had ever imagined him with. The curls almost non-existent, it touched just at his shoulders in a cascade of beautiful full brown locks, his rock star persona in full swing. It was hard to ignore the sudden switch of his attitude, breaking away from the shifty eyes and sullen expressions she had heard Niall talk about and adopting a new “long hair, don’t care” personality. A personality that the fans ate up; back to his scream inducing antics, even just running his hands through his hair caused an eruption of sound and she couldn’t really blame them.
She knew that he would move on, and as much as she hated the idea of his body close to another girl’s or his hands wrapped around someone else’s hand, she knew that this day would come. But it still didn’t prepare her for the way her heart felt like it was drowning or the way her eyes instantly stung with tears that wanted so badly to crawl up her throat. It didn’t prepare her for the way she wanted to spend her entire day looking at everything related to his new reported girlfriend and compare the way she looked to herself. And the fact that she was a model didn’t help her self-esteem any.
Just as she was about to peruse the girl’s Instagram page, she heard the sudden sound of guitar chords coming from the balcony of the room. Her head popping up in curiosity, she hadn’t even realized the two doors had been cracked open the entire time she was lying in bed. Her eyes wandered around the room and that was when she noticed that Lucca was nowhere to be found, which meant that he was the one playing the guitar outside at 9 in the morning. Of course, she shook her head playfully as she pushed the sheets off of her body, swinging her legs over the side of the bed and made her way towards the balcony.
“Oh this is the night, it’s a beautiful night,” He smiled as she stumbled outside, his eyes squinting in the sun. “And we call it bella notte.” She laughed, “Look at the skies, they have stars in their eyes…except they really don’t - “ His improvised words made her laugh even harder, her hand covering her mouth as her head craned backwards slightly. “On this lovely bella notte.”
“You do realize Bella Notte is Italian, right?” She asked, smiling. “We’re in France…”
Lucca rolled his eyes, “Oh hush. It was the easiest song I could learn last minute.”
“I didn’t know you played.”
He shrugged, “It’s not something I usually tell people right off the bat. Just a hobby.”
“How long have you been playing?”
“I started teaching myself about three years ago.” He answered, placing the guitar on the ground beside him before he reached for her. Inviting her to sit on his lap, she was hesitant to accept, but she did anyway. His arms wound around her waist, his hands rested on her legs as he glanced up at her. “Haven’t quite gotten to the professional level yet.”
She smiled weakly, “You never know.”
“Come on tour with me when I do?” His eyes widened in excitement and she had to stop herself from breaking his glance, her throat nearly constricting as the words hung in the air between them.
Nodding slowly, “Let’s work on your chords again. Maybe we’ll look up a French song this time.”
Lucca laughed as she hopped off of his legs, “I thought my choice in song was pretty romantic, actually.” He stood up and grabbed for his guitar, this time leaning against the railing, the sun behind him so that he could the notes on his phone without a glare. His head popping up as he heard the sudden click of her camera, his eyes narrowed at her. “Did you just take a picture?”
“No?” She shrugged innocently as she posted the picture to her Instagram page - He thought Bella Notte was a good choice of song. We’re in Paris…
Little did she know that he had seen the post from California the second it had uploaded, Instagram already opened on his phone as he pushed his way through the doors of his Los Angeles home. A nine hour time difference away, with his body completely sore and exhausted from his grueling tour schedule, he had seen the way Lucca’s body slouched over the guitar, the bustling city of Paris in the backdrop. He had seen the way her shadow appeared against the concrete of whatever platform they were standing on, her figure masked underneath what he assumed to be a large t-shirt and quite possibly Lucca’s large t-shirt. And little did she know, from thousands of miles away, his heart was breaking in the exact same way that hers had just minutes before. Shattered at the physical proof that she had indeed found a new guy, he felt completely defeated as he flopped face first into his mattress and groaned against the covers.
He heard giggling behind him, “Babe, you’re hogging the entire bed.”
He winched as she whined, her body crawling on top of his. “Paige…” She laughed again, her breath hot against the back of his neck as her head rested against his back. “I’m tired.”
“Well you can’t fall asleep in your clothes.” She mumbled, “Unless you’re waiting for me to take them off…”
He shook his head as much as he could. “I think I’m awake enough to do it myself.”
“But, it could be really fun.” She pouted and he could feel her bottom lip jutting out, all too familiar with the face she made when she didn’t get her way.
He moved underneath her, his arms pushing himself up so that he was partly in a push-up position, her small frame sliding off of his back and almost crashing against the floor. Catching her just before she landed, she shrieked. “I just want to go to bed.”
“We can go to bed afterwards.” She tried again, her fingers fumbling with the hem of his t-shirt. Snaking her hands underneath the material, she almost had it over his head before his hands stopped her.
He shook his head, “Sleep. We’re going to sleep.”
She hung her head in defeat before disappearing into the adjoining bathroom, her words mumbled under her breath. He let out a sigh of relief before he stripped his body of his tight jeans and sweaty t-shirt, not caring that he probably needed a shower or that his hair was probably greasy enough to leave marks against his pillow. All he cared about was the feeling his body had when he finally crawled into bed, his bones easing at the plush feeling of the covers and mattress that surrounded him, the tension fluttering from his body completely to leave him utterly relaxed. So much so that he didn’t care when Paige crawled in beside him in barely any clothing and placed her head against his chest. And he didn’t care when he felt her lips brush against his cheeks and then his chest, tenderly kissing his skin as she mumbled what sounded like a sincere “goodnight.”
But, little did she know - from nine hours away - that he was back in Los Angeles. And that he had a girl in his bed. And that he went to sleep with a broken heart.