Let Her Go // H.S.
I don’t think you fully know what you have till it’s gone. Especially when it your fault their gone. My heart rips each time I think of her. Each time someone mentions he’s. Each time I examine the old pictures snapped by a sneaky paparazzi of us, holding hands, the lights catching in her wavy hair and glittering in her eyes. My mum once said her eyes were even brighter than mine. I see that now.
The other day, while making my bed, I found one of her quirky tube socks. It was rainbow colored. Striped. She loved them. She wore them religiously, ever since her friend got bullied for being gay. I wonder if she’s still terrified of cats, automatically leaving the room as soon as my cat, Dusty, slinked in. I wonder if she still listens to tour music before she shuts her eyes at night. I wonder if she moved on. I wonder if she still loves me
The door to my room opens and clicks shut, someone sits on my bed. My back is turned to them, and I shut the lid to my laptop. I’m positive its Gemma, and I’m just as sure that she doesn’t want to watch me down in a sea of nostalgia and regret like I’ve been doing for the past 2 months.
“You ok H?” Gemma asks from her spot on my bed. The same bed y/n would lie next to me in while we listened to oldie albums and talked about aliens and dinosaurs and zombies. I can’t think of impossible things anymore. Well I can think of one- getting the chance to go back in time and change what I did. I wish I had a redo button.
“No I’m not ok,” I answer, my voice muffled by my hands. “I miss her. I’m so stupid. When people say you don’t know what you have until it’s gone, they had a really good point.”
Silence. I think I can even hear the gears turning in Gemma’s head as she struggles to figure out what to say. Or maybe I’m going insane. That could very well explain why I took her heart and mangled it in my hands. along with my own. The absence of a properly functioning brain.
“You should talk to her” she suggest quietly. As if the slightest increase in volume could shatter me into a million shards of Harry. I might as well glue a “CAUTION BREAKABLE” sign on my head. “Go find her. Call her up or something. It’s depressing to see you mope around. You didn’t leave things right between you two. Go fix it. Or at least make it better.
“It’s not simple” I groan, pulling at my curls in frustration. Mainly because, part of my brain actually believed tracking her down and apologizing for what happened could work. I failed to believe I could risk seeing her in hand with someone else without falling apart. Or worse, not finding her at all.
“Why not? You said you miss her,” the bed creaks and her hand places my phone in the desk next to my laptop. On the screen, Gemma pulled up her number. Her name on the screen mocks me. Torture my heart mercilessly. We used to talk on the phone for hours. She always had a terrible habit of nodding while on the phone, as if I could see her, I want to see her.
The air in the room is too thick and I can’t breathe. Grabbing my phone, I stalk out in to the late April breeze. Outside my house, I stop for a second to stare at her name on my phone again. My thumbs hit ‘Call’ without my permission. I swear at myself, then press the phone to my ear.
Dial tone, Dial tone, Dial tone, Dial tone. “I’m sorry but the number you wish to concoct to is no longer serviceable. Please retype the number and try again.”
I’m numb. I don’t feel my feet carry me down the road of Holmes Chapel. I don’t hear fans calling my name. Instead I stumble on, blind, deaf, mute, and entirely numb. Feeling this disappointed is dangerous.
I don’t realize I’m standing at the edge of the pond until I’m there, gazing out at the murky water with its moss and lily pads floating delicately on top. I bet its a hard job. To remain floating no matter what pushes you down. Unless you’re equipped to float despite the circumstances.
What am I talking about?
On the other end of the pond, a girl is hugging her legs to her chest, watching the pond just as closely as I had her. Her hair cascaded down her back in messy waves. The light catches her eyes. I almost stop breathing.
With every step I take, I remember the time we would visit this pond, our safe haven, skipping rocks or climbing trees that surround it. For a girl who trips over her own feet, she scaled trees gracefully and nimbly. Trees always fascinated her. According to her, I reminded her of them, reaching higher and higher to better things in life. Apparently, I don’t know when to stop reaching.
I stop 3 years away from her. I can’t do it. I am a coward. She hates me. I’ll say hi or something stupid and the she rattles off the long list of horrible things I did to her that day. And I’ll break.
I absently kicked a rock and it rolled into the pond, producing ripples. One movement resulting in many more, many more. Her trance broke. A pair of eyes meet mine and my chest burst into flames as her lips form a perfect ‘O’. Her bright yellow shorts dirty from sitting on the ground.
She isn’t smiling. Neither am I.
“What are you doing her? she asks so quietly, the chirping of the birds nearly over power her voice.
Shoving her hands into my pockets, I decide to tell the truth. “I… uhhhh.. don’t really know. I just… came here” I step closer hesitantly. She doesn’t protest. Although she appears wary, she does quite the opposite.
“You can sit down” she says. So I do. And we stare at each other, memorizing our faces just in case this never happens again. Last time I saw her, she was in tears, her face blotchy from sobbing. Not only had I made a girl cry, I made her sob, and she wasn’t the crying type.
My mouth opens up without my consent. “I’ve been thinking about what life would be like if we could have a redo button. That way when we screw up, we can just redo it, so it’ll never happen again. The ugly scars would be gone for good. Life would be much easier.”
“Typical Harry, always wanting the easy way out.” Her words stung and she knows it. She takes a deep breath. “Look, we need mistakes to learn if we hit a redo button, that’s like getting off for free and pretending everything’s okay when it’s not” she glanced up and I’m lost. Eyes this beautiful can’t be real. But they are.
“How about this then,” I start, her eyes filling me with strength to say what I should’ve said from the start. “Bringing that girl Home was the worst mistake of my life. And saying that you weren’t good enough and saying that I needed to get away from you was equally bad. I’ve been regretting it everyday since then. All I can ever do is remember the good times we had and all the reasons I love you. You’re all I’ve ever wanted and needed. If anything, you’re too good for me. I still have your socks. I sleep with them. That’s how insane missing you has driven me. I can’t think without your name, or face or voice haunting me at night and I don’t think all the “I’m sorry” can fix what I did to you.”
Somehow our bodies are closer, almost touching. The entire countryside of Cheshire is silent, holding its breath for her response. A train of thought is chugging through her brain on a windy, precarious track. Caution in mandatory.
Meanwhile, I’m teetering on the edge of a cliff, hoping she’d forgive me. She thought fully traces stick people into the dirt with a stick. A slight gust of wind dances through, causing the trees to whisper their encouragement. She closes her eyes and listens to their voices and after an agonizing silence, she opens them. And smiles at me.
“You’re not easy to stay mad at Styles,” she admits, and laughs weakly. The wind blows strands of her hair into her eyes and she scrunches her face the way she does when she’s annoyed. I brush it away and she stares up at me. And I’m staring back. And those stupid little butterflies I get whenever I’m around her come back. Before I know it, we’re both leaning in ever so slowly. My hands lift up to caress her face and she places her smaller ones over mine. My lips just barely graze hers. She shakes her head and whispers “I can’t do this.”
I slid my lips down to her neck instead. Her pulse is racing, just like mine. “Why not” I whispered back. Again I don’t know why we’re whispering, but we do.
“I’m not ready to be in a relationship with you again Harry. Maybe I will sooner or later, but not know.” My hopes are falling from the high place I put them. How stupid I was to think an apology could make everything better again. I guess life doesn’t work that way.
I remove my lips from the skin on her neck and she uses her tiny fingers to life my head back up, to where she can fully see me. She twirls one of my curls around her index finger like she used to and I feel a little more at ease.
“That doesn’t mean I don’t love you” she says as reassurance. I grinned wide, flashing my dimples. She poked them and laugh. She still loves me, y/n still loves me.
“Then I’ll wait,” I decide, laying down on the ground. She lies next to me at a friendly distance. “Because I’ll do anything to make you happy”
So we lied there, talking about used-to-be’s while watching frogs leap from one lily pad to another. Not one sank.