Photograph of Harry
We keep this love in a photograph / We make these memories for ourselves / Where our eyes are never closing / Hearts are never broken / Time’s forever frozen, still
Harry looked over the photo album sitting on the coffee table at his mother’s house. He hadn’t been home in a while and he was sure he had never seen this album before in his life. Anne took a lot of pictures and Harry remembered almost all of them.
But this album was different. Anne was making Harry his favorite meal in the kitchen while he lounged on the couch after setting the table. “Tacos smell good, Mum. I missed your cooking,” he said softly placing the book in his lap.
Anne giggled from the other room. “I’m happy to have my baby home,” she said knowingly.
Harry lifted the cover and took note of the date inside. Almost a year ago. He doesn’t remember when that was exactly, what this album could be. He figured it was some event Mum and he went to.
When he flipped the first page his heart almost stopped. It was you. Why was this here? It was an entire album of you; you and Harry when you went to all the events he brought you to as his date. It was every moment you were with him. Weddings of family members and weddings for friends. Anne must have taken hundreds of pictures.
Your eyes were closed in some of them as you laughed, Harry gazing at you as he twirled you around dance floors. Smiles and kisses as the two of you shared some of the sweetest moments together. Hugs and laughs shared were all placed neatly into the pages of the album.
He couldn’t hear anything as he looked through the memories. Back when the two of you were still together. Back when Harry’s heart didn’t hurt.
Harry closed his eyes as he examined the pictures of you kissing him at awards shows. He felt his heart sink as his lips tingled—as if he could feel the kiss again. Time in these pictures had stopped. Nothing hurt in these pictures. But now he did. Time was not frozen. He was trapped, right here in these haunting, beautiful memories. He pulled out a picture of the two of you, one in which his arms were around your hips, yours around his shoulders. He remembered the day clearly. The two of you were just coming off the beach, you had shared an ice cream. Your hair was drying still, your bathing suit beneath the sundress.
You had a smile that could set Harry on fire, it was so bright. His returning smile just as sweet. He was so happy to be with you. The look on your faces was so beautiful. The two of you were utterly in love. It was plain as day. Harry was mad about you. You were mad about him.
“Harry I’ve called you three times for dinner—oh,” Anne said softly. “I’m sorry, I meant to put that away,” she whispered.
“Why do you have this Mum?” Harry asked quietly.
She sat down beside her son and pulled the album into her lap. She looked at the happiness in her sons eyes in the photos and saw how it was now gone from his. “I really thought she was the one for you, Harry,” she whispered to him.
Harry’s heart clenched sadly. Because she was right: you were the only one for him. And he let you slip away.
So you can keep me inside the pocket of your ripped jeans / Holding me closer till our eyes meet / You won’t ever be alone / Wait for me to come home
Harry slid the after-beach photo inside his pocket. He prayed he would see you again. Perhaps the separation had helped him grow—helped you grow. Because one look at those photos and Harry knew the mistake that had been made—and he wanted you to come home to him.
You were putting dishes away after you arrived home from work. You were tired, but chores had to get done sometime. You were still wearing your scrubs, trying to get any germs from the little ones you worked with off your body—the last thing you needed was to get sick.
Your phone pinged and you looked down at the message. A message from Harry.
There was no message, just a picture. A picture of the two of you, gazing longingly into one another’s eyes. Your stomach turned and you felt so nervous. Why was he sending this to you? Why now? Why? It felt like the longest day of the year for you and now…Harry?
You bit your lip and just about cried on the spot. You were grateful that he wasn’t here to see the tears. It wasn’t fair that he was doing this and he wasn’t even here.
You swallowed as you held your phone in your hands, shaking a bit. That was a nice day you messaged him back.
It was a lovely day Harry replied.
You didn’t know how to respond so you didn’t. You put the picture as your screen saver on the home screen—not the lock screen, just in case some fans saw you. You sucked your lip into your mouth and left your phone on the counter. Afterwards, you walked to the bathroom ready to shower and let this day just be over.
“Why isn’t she answering me?” Harry sighed to Anne.
“That’s a very strange message to send her out of the blue, honey,” she reminded him. “Even if she did read it, it’s still strange,” she explained while handing the washed dishes to Harry for him to dry.
He kept looking at his phone. The “Read” mark next to his message made him nervous and he wished he could fix it.
But he’s pretty sure he made it worse. I miss you.
It was read, again and Harry’s heart broke when there was no response. He pulled the picture out of his pocket again and wished with all his heart he could gaze into your eyes like that. He wanted to kiss you one more time, hold you. He wanted to come home to you, your sweet smell, and your cooking. He wanted to cuddle you into dreamland and comb his fingers through your hair.
Please stop you answered eventually.
Loving can heal / Loving can mend your soul / And it’s the only thing I know, know / I swear it will get easier / Remember with that with every piece of ya / And it’s the only thing we take with us when we die
You knew he meant no harm by his message—you missed him too. But it was just so inappropriate and you found yourself in tears, coupled with noisy sobs at the thought of Harry missing you. You wrapped yourself in an old hoodie of his, one that lost his smell but still felt warm like him. You curled up on the couch, rubbing your arms.
You were always so cautious, and with Harry, the pop star, you were extra cautious. You trusted him with your life, but did you trust him with your heart? You weren’t so sure. You knew he would never purposefully hurt you—no cheating, no rumors, no lying…none of that would ever deter you from being with Harry.
It was being good enough. It always came down to that. You were never good enough for Harry. Because he had models with long legs and long hair and you weren’t that. You were a pediatric nurse who wore cheap scrubs and shopped the sales rack.
Of course Harry’s love healed you—it healed you in a way you had never felt before. Because for years and years you put others first, you helped others out. Not once had someone asked you if you needed help.
Not until Harry.
And so when Harry offered to help you, you were stunned, speechless, and overall just even more enamored with the curly haired angel. You didn’t trust all at once…Hell, after two years of dating, you were still trying to completely trust him. “It’s alright,” he whispered one night as you slept beside him. “We’re okay,” he said cupping your cheek and gently brushing his thumb on your skin. You loved that he said we. Like it was bot of you having a breakdown, not just you. And as silly and crazy as that sounded, you were still grateful that he said such—you felt him care for you.
And well, you trusted him just a bit more.
And if you hurt me / Well that’s okay baby only words bleed / Inside these pages you just hold me / I won’t ever let you go / Wait for me to come home
Harry was going crazy as he read the two-worded message. Please stop. Please stop.
Except he couldn’t stop. He couldn’t. If he did he thought he might explode. He loved you, there was no way around it and yet…
He had to do something.
The picture album was staring at him, it’s memories burned into his mind and the pages. Everything hurt. And as he looked at your face in that beautiful picture of the two of you. He realized it was okay if he hurt, because he probably hurt you a lot along the way—of course not on purpose, but knowing who you were, he knew you hurt.. But he wasn’t giving up easily…he wasn’t letting you go. Not this easily.
Your words hurt him, those two words. But he thought of the last words he spoke to you.
I just can’t do it anymore, kitten…
And you can fit me / Inside the necklace you got when you were sixteen / Next to your heart beat where I should be / Keep it deep within your soul
The following morning you were seated in the diner, it was too early to eat. You were picking at a muffin as you read from the middle of your favorite book. The waitresses didn’t bother you, simply smiled and continued to steadily refill your coffee cup each time it emptied. They were used to your early morning breakfasts.
You found your fingers gently touching the locket wrapped around your neck. It was heavy, holding memories of people you loved. For a while it was empty, but one day Harry asked why he couldn’t be there. “Well, you’re here all the time, why would I put you in my necklace? I need to put something there that isn’t with me all the time but gets to be close to my heart.”
“I want to be close to your heart though,” he mumbled childishly. He bit his lip and frowned at you.
You smirked. “You’re adorable, Har-bear,” you whispered.
“Kitten, I love you,” he said simply. “I always want to be near your heart.”
“You’re already in my heart, Harry,” you said gently.
Harry loved mushy stuff like this. He loved Valentines Day, and flowers on Wednesdays. He wanted to make you happy and be in love and never be out of love. For you to tell him that he was already in your heart? He was overcome with love for you.
But as your fingers held the cool metal, with the small photo of Harry and you in the tiny space, you realized he was still quite wedged into your heart.
You noticed how quiet the diner was, even for this Early in the morning. You glanced up at the door and saw that Harry’s tall frame took up most of the doorway. Your heart lodged itself in your throat. You stood up dropping cash down in front of your plate as tears filled your eyes. You wanted to run. Harry saw that. And so he gently held you out in front of him by your shoulders. “Please stop,” he whispered.
When I’m away / I will remember how you kissed me / Under the lamp post back on Sixth Street / Hearing you whisper through the phone / “Wait for me to come home.”
He used the very same words you messaged him last night. You sucked your lip into your mouth. His eyes scanned your face, all it’s beauty and wonderfulness right before him, in the flesh for the first time in months.
“You are gorgeous,” he said softly.
You felt like crap…you hadn’t slept in months, not the way you used to sleep beside Harry. “Thanks, you look perfect as always,” you replied politely.
You wanted to hold him and never let go.
He sat down across from you at the table and looked into your eyes. “I was at my mum’s the past few nights,” he told you. “She had this,” he said and slid the photo album across to you. “And…I know what you’re thinking, it’s the memories or whatever, but it’s not. I miss you. Tons.”
You flipped through a couple pages smiling at the memories and you felt tears drip down your cheeks. You and Harry by no means disliked one another. A relationship just no longer made sense. “Where’s the picture you sent me last night?” You asked.
Harry’s cheeks tinged pinker and he pulled out his shirt pocket. He held it out to you. “Want me to put it back?” You asked.
“No,” he shook his head. “I’m…keeping it next to my heartbeat,” he told you quietly, hoping you would remember.
Of course you did. You remembered everything about Harry Styles, the love of your life.
You smiled gently at him, opening the locket for him to see you and him wrapped in the small heart pendant. “I’m never getting over you kitten,” he whispered. “Can we make this work?” He asked.
You bit your lip and stared at the album in front of you. “I’m sick of just remembering the kisses. I want to feel them. I don’t want memories anymore. I want the present, the future. Kitten, I don’t want to remember the past if you’re not with me to reminisce,” he held your hand in both of his large ones. They completely covered your small dainty hand. And he felt like a giant—stealing a poor girl who had done nothing wrong at all. “Please,” he whispered.
You sighed and swallowed noisily. Harry accepted defeat.
So when you reached up to hug him tightly to you…
Harry was sure that he had never felt so at home.