You’re His Ex Girlfriend and You See His New Girlfriend Wearing Your T-Shirt: Part 2
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Growing up, people told Y/n that you could die from a broken heart—that the stress on your heart strings could weaken, and all that’s left is the pain in your chest.
Y/n thought her heart would fail her, rupture all that’s left of her and leave her body to decompose. She believed that, if her broken heart wasn’t going to kill her, loneliness and lack of sleep would push her towards her end.
Moving on—something that seemed so simple yet so impossible for Y/n to do.
When the hurt in her chest and the hallucinations from exhaustion started to become too much for her to handle, she was willing to do anything to help herself. She started taking up yoga sessions, started writing music, even started cooking in an attempt to bring herself back from whatever hell she was in.
She even considered moving on; meeting a man at a bar and getting to know more about him rather than his drink order. But something seemed so wrong about that—something was unsettled inside of her at the thought of being with someone who wasn’t Harry.
The image of Jessica in Harry and Y/n’s t-shirt was enough to haunt her nearly every hour of the day. She started going mental, constantly wondering what they were doing together in the moments she was most vulnerable. She wondered about their love life, their future, their interests. She thought about everything.
It wasn’t until Gabby was determined to mend the broken girl raiding her house, finding any possible excuse to give her a sense of life again, that Y/n found the slightest bit of hope.
Y/n was losing it, entirely, and Gabby refused to continue being a bystander.
Gabby had set Y/n up on a blind date only a couple weeks back, practically begging her to seize every opportunity she possibly can to get over Harry. It was all Gabby could do to help her, considering nothing quite helped Y/n’s well-being since the breakup.
“Oh, he’s just so perfect!” Gabby squealed, clapping her hands before gripping tightly around Y/n’s wrists in excitement. “He’s gorgeous! Amazing blue eyes—breathtaking, really! And he’s so sweet, Y/n! I haven’t met a single person who’s disliked him and he’s such an amazing photographer! And his teeth! His teeth are marvelous! Do you know how hard it is nowadays to find a man with nice teeth? I mean—“
By then, Y/n had dozed off, and it wasn’t for any personal reason against Gabby; she’s appreciated every bit of hard work to help her through the heartbreak Y/n’s been dealing with nearly half of a year now. It’s just that she wasn’t ready to move on, not that she didn’t want to.
It had been nearly five months, which may seem like such an abundance of time to rid feelings for somebody, but did time really help moving on from someone she’d planned to spend the rest of her life with? It seemed nearly impossible. She could barely see herself looking at other men in a romantic sense, how could she see herself going on a date with somebody? Especially when she was still in love with somebody else?
She was biting the bullet with letting time heal her, but she felt that was the only way. Nothing more could help her. If anything, she believed dating would make it worse, if she were being honest.
But the look of excitement Gabby had at the mere thought of Y/n being happy again was something Y/n found nearly impossible to resist. Besides, she had definitely been overstaying her welcome at Gabby’s house no matter how much Gabby’s tried to deny it and has put so much stress onto her that maybe, just maybe, doing this one favor for all that she’s done for her.
“So, what do you say?”
Y/n blinked harshly when Gabby’s voice drowned out all the scrambled thoughts in her head, shaking her head slightly to regain her understanding of reality.
“Monmouth Coffee Shop at noon tomorrow. Dan really wants to meet you, Y/n! Please!”
Y/n’s eyes widened, snapping her head up to meet Gabby’s hopeful eyes.
“The Monmouth?! Are you crazy?! That’s Harry’s favorite coffee shop, you know that! Dan and Harry probably know each other, that’s how much he goes there!”
Gabby’s eyes narrowed as her lips pursed, gaze directing toward the ceiling in thought.
“Harry? Harry who? I don’t remember who that is, never heard that name in my life.”
Her tone reeked with sarcasm, which made Y/n’s eyes nearly roll to the back of her head. As much as she wished Gabby’s negative remarks about Harry were comedic, there was always something about them that infuriated her. She always supposed it was the instinctual aspect of loving someone so much.
Gabby sighed as she reached her hand up to rub Y/n’s shoulder gently.
“Look,” she began, “you’re my best friend and I hate seeing you like this. You’re not the same Y/n I always knew, and I think you see yourself that way, too. And in all honesty, I don’t give a fuck about Harry anymore. As sadistic and twisted as it sounds, I don’t care about his emotions, or how he feels. He did this to you. He killed a part of you and I feel it’s my obligation to help you through this. So, please, go out with Dan tomorrow. He works at Monmouth, he’ll meet you before his shift starts at 1:30.”
Gabby’s arm slid off of Y/n’s shoulder at the shadow of uncertainty behind her eyes. Even though Gabby understood all the pain and hesitation, she didn’t want to see Y/n suffer another day. She just couldn’t.
“Please,” she whimpered, “Dan has been the only sense of hope I’ve gotten to make you happy again. Just do this one thing, please? And if it doesn’t work, then you can blame me. I’m just trying here.”
Y/n coughed slightly, her inability to say no wearing off of her at Gabby’s desperate pleads. It was an opportunity to turn things back around in her life, and if it didn’t go as planned, she really didn’t have anything more to lose.
She nods her head softly.
“Yeah—yeah, okay. I’ll meet him.”
Maybe this would be good for her.
Dan is lovely, always caring for Y/n and making sure she feels like loyalty whenever she’s around. He puts her first, in everything, and made a rule that the date can’t end until I hear you laugh at least six times.
It’s cute, really, how effortless he is at giving someone so much attention. Y/n likes it—loves it, even, but it still never feels right to her. She sees something with him, but nothing long term, not in the way she sees Harry.
But he’s good for her now, when she’s at her worst and needs someone to be there for her. He’s able to provide her with the company she desperately needs in order to cure the possible fatalities that came with her broken heart.
“Thank you for the coffee, it was great.” Y/n smiles softly, her cheeks blushing slightly as she traces the rim of her coffee cup.
It’s nearly their tenth date, and they still meet at the Monmouth at noon before his shift. It’s become a routine for them, meeting together at noon before Dan drops her off at the parking station. It became something they both looked forward to throughout their week, and soon became more of a tradition between them.
Dan grins, almost instinctively wrapping his arms around Y/n’s shoulders so that her head makes rest on his chest. He sighs, pressing a small kiss to the top of her head before resting his chin where his lips once were.
“Of course. I’ll be getting out at around 6 o‘clock so maybe I can stop by for a few? Maybe watch a movie?”
He knows the answer before she says it—his constant attempts to get closer to her always seeming to fail. There’s always a hesitation, or always an excuse to prevent them from being alone together.
He’s well aware that there are parts of her that need to be fixed, still being completely destructed by her ex-lover. He’s tried tirelessly to get her to open up and to trust him, but there’s a thick barrier still in their way of each other. It disheartens him, to know she refuses to let him in.
She sighs, guilt evident in her breath as she softly pushes away from him.
She does that often, he’s noticed it.
She feels horrible for doing so every time. Everything between them has remained stagnant, nothing being built so that nothing could be knocked down. It’s not that Y/n doesn’t trust him, it’s that Y/n doesn’t trust herself. She’s still in love with someone else, and she can’t hurt Dan—not in that way.
“I think I’m just going to—“
“Yeah, I know.” Dan nods, arms moving to cross at his chest, “I get it. Just like every other time.”
Y/n reaches her shaking fingers to brush her hair behind her ear, guilt flashing in her eyes as she refuses to meet his gaze. She’s familiar with the look he has on his face well enough to know he’s upset again, being constantly shut down by her.
“I’m so sorry, Dan.” She whispers, “But I’m trying. I want to keep trying with you. If you let me.”
He looks unconvinced, as he’s been hearing this for a while now. But something inside of him can’t quit her, no matter how much his intuition tells him she’s a dead end. Maybe he feels sorry for her on a level he’s never felt sorrow for somebody else. No matter how much she hides it, she really does need him. Not in a romantic level, but she does need him to show her that he cares for her and that he’ll always be there. She needs that sense of security, and he’s the only one that can provide it for her.
“Yeah,” he nods, “we can keep trying. It’s okay, I’m here for you.“
Harry had been living in his studio for the past couple of weeks. It certainly wasn’t ideal, but it was much better than sleeping on his and Y/n’s bed—alone.
That’s all he’s felt since their break up—lonely. It’s quite strange, considering Harry had millions of supporters, an entire band throughout his solo career, and producers around him nearly every hour of the day. He used to complain that he never had alone time anymore, that between all the constant traveling and being at the peak of his career, it was hard to find time for himself.
But now, in the midst of everything happening in his life, he wishes to feel that sort of hustle again.
Y/n was the person that kept him grounded through everything. She was the one consistency in his life, which gave him all the more reasons to love her. Whenever he was overwhelmed with the pressure put on him, or feeling homesick during his travels, she was always the one to keep him at bay and give him a sense of clarity.
Home hadn’t become a house, instead, Y/n’s heart. Wherever she was, he felt at home. Even when she was half way across the world, it was her voice that brought him back and reminded him that, no matter how much he missed the walls of familiarity, home was always a phone call away. She gave him that sense of comfort everywhere she went, it was truly amazing.
And when he broke up with Y/n, he didn’t think of how much everything around him would be affected. He thought time would do them best—would help mend the relationship that seemed to be collapsing beneath their feet. Their connections were lost, replaces by uncomfortable silences and unbarring arguments.
He didn’t think of the consequences when he did it. He didn’t think about how lost he’d become, or how he had no place to call home, or how there was no consistency in his life anymore. There were so many aspects of his life that Y/n had given him—so much of them that he didn’t realize until she moved out.
It was the exact reason he started dating Jessica. She was a great distraction, a beautiful woman to take his mind off of everything.
They weren’t much of anything. Nothing about them was exclusive besides what the media saw of them: boyfriend and girlfriend moving in together in London. It was far from the truth, really. He was with her to terminate his dry spell and rid his loneliness, and she was with him because he infatuated her.
He ended it all, though, that same morning Y/n found Jessica wearing their shirt. The entire incident gave him a realization; that nobody could fill his void like Y/n did.
The fear of losing her forever and making her believe he was in love with somebody else was enough to break him out of his selfish ways. She had been waiting for him for months, and when he returned, he wasn’t the same man he was.
Not only did Harry know that Y/n lost all her faith in him—he lost all faith in himself, as well.
“I’m so screwed, Nick. I fucked up everything. Everything.”
Harry was laying with his back flat against the studio couch, hands rubbing down his face as he tried to steady his harsh breathing.
It was just after he had run into Y/n at the grocery store, where she had seen Jessica wearing Harry and Y/n’s t-shirt. Although he was practically mute during the encounter, everything hit him at once after Y/n and Gabby walked out.
He called Nick in a hurry, incoherent and completely disoriented from the tears he’d broken down into. Everything he thought would be mended completely fell down on them—all because of him.
“Jessica was wearing the shirt with the—fuck, you know the shirt, and Y/n saw and she was such a mess, Nick. I didn’t even say anything to her, she was practically begging me to say something and I didn’t say a word.”
Nick sat cross-armed on one of the chairs, directly across from Harry. He wished he could have felt remorse seeing Harry in such distress, however, he never agreed with Harry’s actions and made it clear numerous times. In his eyes, this was karma’s ticking time bomb.
“You tend to be a real jackass sometimes, you know that?”
Harry lifted himself up so that he could sit properly. His body slumped against the back of the couch, head rested in his palm as he coughed uncomfortably at Nick’s choice of words.
“You let go of the best thing that’s ever happened to you and then you just move on, as if she meant nothing, and you think you just fucked it all up now? Over the goddamn t-shirt?”
Harry scowled at him.
“I haven’t moved on, and it’s more than just a t-shirt, you know that. That was ours.” Harry defended, glaring over at his direction.
“So why was Jessica wearing it after you fucked her on the bed you and Y/n shared every night for the past three years?”
Something about Nick’s words gave Harry a foul taste in his mouth. As much as he wished Nick didn’t say it in that way, that’s exactly what Harry did, and knowing he had to live with that for the rest of his life made his stomach flip inside of him.
He really did fuck it up. Nothing he did was excusable, nothing he did was forgivable. He betrayed the one woman he loved so dearly—the one woman he’d always consider his soulmate. He really, really fucked it up.
He gulped as he tried to find words to justify himself. There was really nothing he could say.
“She—she had just put it on while I was sleeping and when—when I noticed she just wouldn’t shut up about breakfast and I couldn’t just be like ‘Hey, Jess, could you take off that shirt? That belonged to me and my ex-girlfriend and I don’t appreciate it?’ How could I do that?”
He sighed, leaning his face into the palm of his hands as he looked back onto his experiences with Jessica. Was it all worth it? Was she really worth all of this?
“She means nothing to me, Nick. I lost the girl I love for somebody who doesn’t mean anything to me.” He whispered, “How do I live knowing that?”
It’s nearly two in the afternoon when Harry finally decides to leave his studio. He’s been working on some songs he found himself writing during his free time, something he found therapeutic throughout the past couple of months.
Recording and writing have become the only distractions that seem to work for Harry. Everything else became temporary. Writing out his emotions and singing the words he wishes he could say has been the only sense of closure he’s had in a while.
“Dan! Long time no see!” Harry smiles when he enters Monmouth, a familiar face being something he finds so relieving.
Dan looks up from his register, reaching over the counter to give Harry a hug as he greets him enthusiastically.
“Haven’t seen you in quite a while. On your lunch break?”
Harry nods as his eyes squint, reaching for the back of his neck as he reads over the menu.
“Yeah, kind of in a hurry today if you don’t mind. Can I just get a medium coffee with almond milk, please? And a slice of apple pie, feeling kind of brisk today.”
Dan works his fingers across the cash register, yelling out his order to the barista before making small talk about the weather. Considering Harry hasn’t been seen in Monmouth nearly as much as he used to, they both found it nice to catch up with each other for the short while they’ve been distanced.
When Dan reaches over to give Harry his spare change, an all too familiar silver ring catches his attention immediately. At first glance, he swears his heart stopped beating.
There’s no way, there’s just no way that could be the ring Harry gave to Y/n. Dan and Y/n have never met before, considering she had only visited here a handful of times during Harry’s lunch break. And even then, she would just stand patiently by the door while Harry waited to retrieve his order.
There’s just no way, but the top of the rose has a particular rust on it that resembles Harry’s perfectly—and no matter how long it’s been since he’s seen it, he’ll never forget what it looks like.
Harry’s hand grips onto Dan’s wrist instead of reaching out to grab the spare change laying upon his palm, flipping over his hand to inspect the silver ring snug almost too perfectly around his finger. He’s aggressive, movements harsh and face tight with anger, but at this point in time, the last thing Harry’s worried about is Dan’s slightly intimidated composure.
“Where did you get this?”
Unlike his demeanor, his voice is soft and breaking between each word. There’s an unrecognizable shift in his eyes when he sees the wear and tear Harry knows he caused before gifting it to Y/n. This is most definitely his, and knowing Y/n was the one who gave it to him makes him nearly throw up all the contents in his stomach.
“Girlfriend gave it to me,” Dan smiles “well, not really my girlfriend yet. But you know how they are. I told her I liked it and she insisted I have it.”
Harry swallows the lump in his throat, making him nearly whimper when he opens his mouth to speak.
He’s never felt so much pain before. The breaking that was once only in his heart spread like wildfire across every bone and ligament in his body. It burns, the sudden realization that Y/n has a boyfriend, that Y/n is no longer going to be there—waiting for him—the way he always expected her to be, that Y/n has taken it upon herself to seek revenge on him so that he can feel everything she felt that one Sunday morning at the grocery store.
And it’s then he realizes that this is nothing compared to everything he’s put her through. In his favor, this is just a stupid ring her gave her for her birthday because he loved the way she twisted it around his finger. It didn’t have much value between them, just something small they shared. He couldn’t imagine the hurt he would have now, standing her, if Dan were wearing their Lover t-shirt.
“Wh—What’s her name?”
His voice is in a whisper now, only the slightest bit of hope draining from his body when he hears Dan speak again.
“Y/n. She’s a good girl, you’d like her.”
Harry almost laughs. You’d like her. He has no idea, he’s in love with her.
It’s as if every part of Harry’s body begins to shut down. Maybe it’s from the shock, or the overbearing pain he feels in his chest, but he suddenly begins to feel lightheaded. His muscles turn numb and all his orientation seems to scramble as if he’s intoxicated.
Dan’s eyes narrow when he sees all the color drain from his face, his eyes widened and soaked with tears. He watches as he nearly falls backward, only to balance himself with his foot when he takes a proper step away from the counter.
“Harry? Harry, you alright?”
Never fucking say my name again is the first proper thought that his brain can register. But his throat is tight and his tongue is numb. He attempts to take a breath of air, but he feels like his lungs are collapsing in his chest, preventing him from doing anything besides stumble uncoordinatedly out of the Monmouth doors.
He’s falling apart—that’s exactly what it feels like. He feels like every limb is falling from his body as he walks towards his car. He doesn’t know exactly how he’s moving, even if he’s stumbling on his own two feet and colliding into stranger’s bodies as he does so, he doesn’t understand how his body finds the strength to keep moving.
Y/n moved on. Y/n’s dating Dan. Y/n gave his ring to him. It’s all over, everything is over.
“No” he mumbles frantically, jealously flowing in his veins, chest heaving from the sobs that are threatening to spill out of him, “no, no no no.”
He starts to wonder where he’s missed it, and exactly how long it’s been since Y/n moved on. She was so broken at the grocery store the other week; what could have possibly altered her feelings that quickly? Did Dan really impact her that much?
But that’s his girl. Y/n is his girl, she’s the one he was so sure he was going to spend the rest of his life with. Even with Jessica, even with everything that’s happened, Y/n is his soulmate, and there isn’t anything in the world that can convince him otherwise.
Nobody is going to take her from him. He refuses to believe she belongs to somebody that isn’t him; there isn’t an atom in his body that doubts their companionship.
Before he thinks twice—before he really gives himself a chance to stop himself—Harry slides his cell phone out of his back pocket once he reaches his car. He slumps against the hood as his fingers work furiously across his screen.
There has to be something, at least some sort of proof that this is really happening to him, that this isn’t in a nightmare he can easily wake himself out of. There had to have been a hint, a warning for him to have. She would have never moved on without saying something to him. They were so strong together, she would have never left without closure.
Nothing about it makes sense.
And then, he sees it.
He falls to his knees, hitting the concrete harshly below him. His body gave out from beneath him, his muscles and bones failing him.
It’s there, right in front of him, mocking him and all the shitty decisions he’s made. It’s there—on Y/n’s private Instagram page—a picture of Dan holding Y/n’s hand on top of a table in Monmouth, Harry’s ring wrapped perfectly around his pointer finger.
Steele rose has never looked so good xx.