Somewhere Only We Know
“Come on, come with me,” Harry held out his hand to her, with an irresistible grin. “I’m bored of listening to our mums and dads talk. Let’s go, I’ll show you something!” He chirped excitedly as his straight hair fell into his face, a bowl cut framing his dimples.
She took his hand, purely out of curiosity she told herself. She didn’t see Harry as anything but a friend at the time. “Where are we going?” she asked him, curious to see where he’d lead her.
“Do you trust me?” Harry asked her, while leading her away from their parents. They wouldn’t go far, his mom wouldn’t like that. But he had a spot.
“I guess so,” she responded, pushing her brown locks away from her face.
“Then let’s go!” Harry took off into a run, dragging her along, making her regret that she’d ever said yes.
“Harold Edward Styles! If I fall because of you, I’m telling my mum you ruined my skirt on purpose! I promise you Styles!”
Harry heard her and laughed his head off, “Alright then! You won’t fall, I won’t let it happen!”
He continued to sprint ahead with her in tow, the wind hitting their faces as they crossed a small street, one of the smallest in Holmes Chapel and went into a forest area.
“Harry,” she whispered now, scared of the forest. It was still bright outside, but in the forest, you couldn’t exactly tell.
“Yes,” he slowed down, pulling her along.
“Where in the world are we going?” she asked, her voice high pitch and squeaky.
“You’ll see,” he stopped, finally turning around and facing her. “I promise, just wait a few more steps!”
He turned around and pulled her ahead again, a bit more slowly, as large tree roots came between their path now. Their little feet made their way across the land, as Harry made sure he didn’t let her feet hit a sharp root sticking up, or a branch smack her in the face. Though he probably would have let a laugh out if it did.
She fell silent now, wondering where this stupid boy was going to take her. She was only eight years old, she shouldn’t be this far away from her mum. But she was with Harry, so it was alright, she thought to herself.
They stopped in front of a whole fallen amount of leaves, hanging down from a tree at an odd angle. “Ready,” Harry asked her.
She just shrugged. Always the excited Harry. Little things pleased him and he was no doubt pleased with this place.
He walked forward and used his little arm to move away the leaves and lead her to a open meadow like area, with a little pond. Someone had set this place up by hand, but no one was there now, only the sound of water falling from somewhere far away and earthy smells.
But she was enraptured by it all. There was a spirit to this place. It felt like something meaningful. Like a place of importance. And it would be for a while.
Harry pulled her under the shade of a tree, a tall oak tree, probably over one hundred years old and standing strong. They sat there, talking, yapping, happily about the wonders they saw around them, the little children. Young, happy, and only if for a moment.
“Fuck off James,” she told her current boyfriend, slurring with a beer in hand. They’d wandered into the forest, the smells of earthy trees and moss mixing in with their beer drowned breaths. This was her fourth of the night and she showed no sign of stopping. Jameswalkedalongside her, only on his second, trying to help keep her up.
She wouldn’t stop walking in this direction, looking for something. But he didn’t have a clue of what it was. And he honestly didn’t care. She was mental and he didn’t know why he dated her. She bullied him, used him, ignored him, humiliated him in public. And that was the last straw.
“Alright, have fun in the fucking woods.” With that, James dropped his hold on her and left her there. By herself in the dark.
“Fine. Dick.” She shouted after him, falling on something mossy and hard. It was probably another tree branch. Fuck him. She thought to herself. She didn’t need him. She didn’t need any man. But she did want to go to the place. That place that she hadn’t been to since she was little. Really little. And with a boy with straight locks, and a cheeky smile. But she didn’t know where it was. She stood up again, after sitting for a few minutes, and walked back behind James, who was completely out of sight. “God damn it.” She kept cursing to herself.
She threw her shoes off, leaving them wherever the hell they were on the earth’s floor, marching onward. The highway had to be up here somewhere. Her heart slowed in uneven rhythms as she listened for a car or a whizz of a motorcycle or bus. Something.
Whoosh. That was definitely a car. Beginning to run, she found her way out of the forest, on a road now with a car coming straight at her. “Stop! Stop please!” She shouted before falling on the floor, collapsed with alcohol and God knows what else thrown into her body.
She shut her eyes, watching the lights get closer and closer until they stopped. Everything stopped. Peaking them open, she saw a figure walking up to her. The person had stopped the car. She’d survived. Only the look on that face was not of rescue, but greed. “Hello there little lady. Who’d leave a special little girl like you out here in the dark, all… by… yourself?” He bent down, a man no older than 25 but with a snarl that could’ve compared him to the Joker. She hesitated, as anyone would, but her fight was useless as she punched in all the wrong places as drugs and alcohol took over.
“Don’t you dare… touch me.” She lifted a useless finger only to have him slap her across the face and pick her up with one strong arm.
“We’ll see how you feel about touching in a little while, little lady,” as he grabbed her butt, invading her space like she’d never even said a word. She didn’t want this. But she couldn’t get out of it. Her mind spun as she tried to figure out what she was going to have to endure, what she’d deal with afterwards, how could she even get out—
“Put. Her. Down.” A car pulled up next to them as the man tried to hastily stash her in the car. He’d rolled down the window and spoke with a deep voice. “Put her down right now. I don’t want to have to use force.”
His voice was truly threatening, and he didn’t like it either, but he had to protect her. He couldn’t let this happen to her.
“You and what son? I’d like to see you try.” The man laughed while trying to pull up her skirt right in front of the other man in the car, as if trying to share the view. And that was enough for him.
Like wind during a storm, he snapped out of his car, slamming the door shut with such force, even the older man stopped. Within seconds he was face to face with what would soon become his worst nightmare. The boy’s face was still unable to be seen, with lights and darkness working with him to keep his face in the shadows. If the man would’ve seen who it was, he was sure to recognize him.
“Hands off.” With that, the boy punched him straight in the face, making the most ear chopping sound, as bone broke in the man’s jaw. The girl screamed, now running away from the man and to the boy, grabbing onto his jumper. “Get in the car,” he told her as he glaned just slightly at her, watching the fear on her face.
And the only thing he could think of in that moment, was to make sure he rid that fear as soon as he could.
She ran into the passenger seat of the car without a second thought and sat there, crying. The man groaned on the road, trying to hold his jaw in place while his lip had started to bleed so heavily, the boy nearly thought for a second that he was wrong in his doing. But only a second.
“Get back in your car, and watch what you decide to do next time. Filthy animal.” With that, he scuffed the ground with his shoe and returned back to his car, sliding in with ease and simply shutting the door and switching gears to be back on the never ending road. He only went a few yards away, just so the man couldn’t catch up and stopped on the side of the road, turning the lights of the car off.
They both sat there, both shaking. He couldn’t look over at her. He’d been gone so long, and when he comes back, he finds in her in this position. He didn’t even think this could happen. Scratch that, he didn’t know what to think anymore. She sat next to him, in tears. The shock of possibly being raped, possibly losing something that you don’t choose to give away… the possibility of it happening to her shook her more than anything else.
Balling up her hands in little fists, she gained control of herself. She needed to get home. And get out of this random person’s car. Who knew what his intentions were?
Without looking at him, she spoke, ashamed of her behavior. “Thanks for the help and all, but I must get home. Now.” But he didn’t move. He didn’t do anything. His hands were in fists as well, unable to make himself move. He didn’t want to lose control. Go back and hurt that man. Or turn and look at her and.. he didn’t know what he would do.
“Hello? Can you please, please,” but there was no response. She threw her hands up in the air. “FOR GOD’S SAKE CAN YOU PLEASE DRIVE ME HOME?” He still didn’t respond as he finally gained control of his shakes. He hadn’t been drinking, but the way his mind was jumping from thought to thought made him think someone had slipped something in his water bottle the afternoon before.
“What the hell were you doing?” His voice stayed low, as she started to sob, given up, alcohol pulsing back into her system.
“Did it look like I was doing anything at all?” She rolled her eyes, returning to her angry manner. She just wanted to get home to her bed. That’s all. “It was all that dumb ass dick head of bitch.”
He cringed at her language and manner. It was so slurred and classless he couldn’t believe it was her. “Cursing never quite suited you, yah know?”
“How would you know—” But that’s when she knew. She should’ve known. She would’ve known that voice anywhere else. It was that one voice. “Come with me,” it said to her. Every night, those nights where she’d come home wasted, she’d sleep with that dream haunting her until she awoke.
She held her hands out and grabbed his face in her sweaty palms, startling him. “Harold.” He covered her hands with his own, smiling slightly, just happy to have her near him again. She was always a beloved childhood friend. They had their times when they grew apart, and he knew that. But there was no one he remembered better days with.
“Hello,” Harry smiled at her, squeezing her hands. “I’ve missed you lovely.”
It only took her a second to jump across her seat, practically in his lap, hugging him dearly like a lost friend. She’d never missed anyone more. “How’d you find me?”
“I was really just on my way home. I thought I’d come earlier, since I’d heard your prom was tonight correct?” Harry looked at her up and down in her now short, gown with vintage rhinestones on the deep blue bodice. “I was going to come early and show up as a possible plus one, but my flight was delayed and there you go.”
Her face lit up and she hugged him again, this time tighter and Harry hugged back. This was the one person he’d probably missed like his family.
“Hey Harry,” she spoke quietly in his ear, arms still wrapped tightly around his neck.
“Yes love?” He tried to release her but she wouldn’t let him go, making his dimples appear on his clear face again. He’d truly missed her.
“Remember that place? You took me when we were little,” she lost her train of thought.
“That somewhere only we know? Remember? We sang that song on the way there and—”
“Yes, that place Harold.” She rolled her eyes at him again. He was always a talkative little bugger. “Can we go back?” She sighed and closed her eyes on his chest, his protective arms holding her up, supporting her slow body.
“Now?” Harry asked a little surprised. She was still ready for an adventure even after all the mishaps along the way. Sigh.
“Yes, please?” She let him go and gave him a pleading look, and he did nothing more than opening the car door, letting her out first, back into the adventurous forest.
Water fell from the rock in front of them, as they both sat on a mossy log, wrapped in each other’s arms. “I’ve maybe only been here 4 times since then. And every time I hated it.”
“Only four? I recall coming at least every week. Way more than four. And you loved it every time.” Harry spoke a little triumphantly, loving the fact that he’d found this place when he was nothing bigger than a cheeky little boy with a bowl cut.
“I’ve only come four times since you left. And I hated it then… because you weren’t here. It wasn’t the same.” She shied away, using her finger to distract herself by drawing little H’s on Harry’s pant leg.
Harry took her little hand in his massive one. He’d been waiting so long to ask her and now it was simply killing him. “In case you didn’t know, I’ve been watching you.” God damn it, who in the good name of Hell starts a confession like that? Shit shit shit. “I mean, what I meant is that, I still get on your Facebook.” Damn it Styles, shut up. He cursed himself in his head, but she chuckled out loud.
“So you stalk me? Go on.” She encouraged him, squeezing his hand just a little bit.
“Not very badly! I promise! Just to see what you’ve been up to, or how’s Cheshire, that sort of thing. Nothing creepy, I swear!” Harry’s voice got very high pitched as he tried to convince her of his doings.
“Right, go on.”
“And… I miss you. I miss talking to you. I get upset when I see regular guys from our school talking to you because I can’t. I can’t ever. Because if fans see it or whatever, I’m screwed. No, you’re screwed. The hate, the anxiousness, the worries, all of that would end up on you. You’d be in the tabloid spotlight. And that’s the last thing I want to happen to you.”
She gave him a look, as to ask, where is this going?
“Right, well what I’m trying to say is… I like you. No wait, maybe I love you. I think I’ve loved you since… well when we were kids. I showed you this spot because I liked you then at least. I don’t know. I really.. I can’t even right now, begin to describe how much it killed me to find out that you got a date to prom last minute. Literally. And a dick like James Burmingham who was just the worst person we’d ever known in our childhood remember?”
She laughed and squeezed his hand again, which believe it or not, released all the tension from him.
“I think I like you alright? And I’m willing to give it a shot if you are.”
Her eyes diverted to the water falling on the rocks. Simple question with a not so simple answer. But an answer had to be given. So after yet another squeeze, she leaned in, whispering in his ear, “Take me to somewhere only we know. And if only we know, then you’ll always know, I’m yours Harold.”
*restart audio if you haven’t already
“Look right here! Oh, careful of that branch!” The photographer snapped yet another shot of her standing in a precious white gown, somehow unscathed by the forest, so far.
“Do you have enough yet?” She asked, tired of standing in heels that refused to stop sinking into the ground.
“Just a few more! Do we have any other locations? Nothing new?” She rolled her eyes at him. She should’ve gotten her cousin to do the photos.
“I don’t know.” The photographer pursed his lips and looked at his camera, looking through the film thusfar.
“At least tell me where’s the groom? We have absolutely no photos of you two together in the forest. And you mentioned that was an important factor to you yes?” The photographer looked up again, talking directly to her.
“Yes, I’m sure he’ll be here—”
“So sorry I’m late! Sorry! Sorry, sorry sorry! Car troubles.”
She crossed her arms as she watched Harry approach through the brush. “Right. Harry you overslept, just admit it.”
“Okay fine. Okay? I overslept, I’m sorry. But in all honesty, it’s Zayn’s fault! I told him to be my alarm!”
Her mouth dropped wide open, laughing and grinning and screaming all at the same time. “Ohhhh no sir, that’s your mistake! You asked Zayn of all people to be your alarm!? Do you forget it’s Zayn you’re talking about? You could’ve at least asked Louis or Niall or Liam. But no, you pick Zayn. I can’t even Harold!—”
“Any other locations miss?”
And Harry’s smile showed up on his face. “I have one.” And she knew immediately.
He grabbed her hand, and they were off again, like eight year olds on a race to terabithia. Harry cheered her on and she ran right behind him, her heels now irrelevant to how high she felt now. Anything was possible with Harry, she’d learned that now. It was only seconds later when they reached the tilted branches and ivy, now weathered but still just as green as she and Harry remembered. “Wait please! Slow down! I’ll be there in a moment!” The photographer shouted from yards away, bringing all his gear.
“Should we go in first?” She asked Harry, who nodded back like a mischievous child, ready to cause havoc at a moment’s notice. She pulled back the curtain of green to enter their own little wonderland. They hadn’t come in a while, a month to be exact.
But tomorrow they were getting married. And they’d spent endless amounts of moments here. This is where it all started, and where it would all end. They stood right in front of the pond’s edge, the water inches away from their toes.
“Hey Harry,” she spoke to Harry in a whisper, intertwining his fingers in hers, pulling him in slowly.
“Yes love?” He asked a little dumbfoundedly. The beauty of her face in that wedding gown was too much to handle. And she’d be his in a matter of hours. IT was finally that time.
“I should probably tell you this. I think I love you.” She winked at him, smiles rising on both of their ever smirking faces.
“Really? I don’t know though.” Harry winked at her, causing her to pout.
“Yes really. I feel like there’s still one thing I need to convince me. You know? Just to make sure.” He winked again, sending a set of fireworks through her stomach. How’d she get so lucky?
“Alright then,” she spoke quietly still, biting her lip making Harry want to take her with him right then and there. Control, he told himself. Just tomorrow. She grinned, practically reading his mind and knowing that she had control. “How does this make you feel?” She leaned up a few inches, his face right in front of her now, her fingers loosening from his and wrapping one arm around him and the other palm touching his cheek, pulling him tighter. Her lips landed on his causing him such euphoria, that he knew he loved her. They grinned one last time before they went for a much more passionate dip before light flashed.
“That has to be the most beautiful photo I’ve ever shot.” The camera man looked at the photo through his view finder, in awe of the magic in that one shot. “Can we take a few more here? The scene is perfect.”
He lifted his camera again to take a few more, before Harry took one hand and lowered it, winking at her as he did. “I don’t think so. This place is somewhere only we know. And we intend to keep it that way.”
July 6, 2012