candid pics are just crazy like really makes u think: is that what my face rlly looks like .. like on the reg? no.. can’t be… i always just block them out afterwards… ignorance is bliss i don’t want to know all the weird ways my face contorts while i’m not paying attention..
She couldn’t tell if he was trying to prove a point to himself or her. Either way she received a text from him each day of the week following the party. Sometimes she responded, sometimes she didn’t.
She wasn’t actively ignoring him, though. She just wasn’t the best texter (a fact of which all her friends with the exception of one could attest to). She could talk and interact with someone from sunup to sundown in person, but the moment they parted ways it’s like she couldn’t bring herself to communicate. Face to face,she could read social cues and body language and just blurt things out to keep the conversation going. Communicating via text was different. There was way too much room for ambiguity. She would get in her head and read things in different tones and he wasn’t big on emojis which made things that much worse. Also, she struggled to find ways to respond to how are you, beautiful? because a) she didn’t think she was all that beautiful b) it was clear that he was flirting and c) he is Harry Styles.
She was sat in the spinny chair at her desk, legs drawn up to her chest, head resting on her knees when her phone began buzzing. She looked over and saw that it was Harry calling. It was a lot easier to ignore a text than a call, so she picked up despite the anxiety she felt swelling in her chest. “Hello?”
“Hiiiii. How are you, beautiful?”
She looked ahead blankly, before pulling the phone away from her ear and glaring at it. She knew that he knew exactly what he was doing. She wracked her brain for something to say back.
“Are you really going to leave me on read in call, too?”
She chewed on her lip for a few seconds and decided honesty was the best policy. “I didn’t leave you on read. Before you so rudely interrupted me with this phone call, my phone was in front of me and I was thinking of something to say back.”
“All I asked was how you were doing? That’s pretty straightforward, I reckon.”
“Yeah, but… you called me beautiful…”
“Because you are,” he stated plainly.
She scoffed in return. “Yeah, okay,” she responded in a sarcastic tone. “I’m fine. How are you? How’s tour? What’s up?” she fired back rapidly in an attempt to get the conversation off of her. She picked up the bottle of water sat on the desk, holding her phone in between her ear and shoulder.
“I’m good. Tour’s great. I wanna see you again,” he fired back just as rapidly. She began choking spastically, nearly spitting out the water in her mouth. “We saw each other last week.”
She could feel him rolling his eyes through the phone. “I thought we agreed we could try being more than friends.”
“I thought we agreed to after your tour is finished.”
“How do you feel about Manchester?”
She squealed. “One time I was at Starbucks in Barnes and Noble and the barista was from Manchester and we flirted and I had to stand in a corner for like five minutes to get myself together. His accent was out of this world,” she sighed dreamily.
“So… meeting guys in Starbucks is like… your thing…” Again, it was like she could see what he was doing. The smirk was evident in his voice.
“Oh, piss off.“
"So, Manchester?” he asked, bringing the conversation back on topic.
She was still caught up in a bout of nostalgia over the barista. “What about it?”
“Huh? Oh. Um. I’m not sure if I could book the time off work. Also, I don’t have a passport, so even if I wanted to I couldn’t. And, well, no offence, but I don’t think I’d be comfortable flying out of the country to see someone I met last week.” She was chanting honesty is the best policy in her head repeatedly as if it was some sort of mantra.
There was silence for a few beats. It was almost as if she could see the cogs turning in his head. “No, you’re right. I’m sorry. I wasn’t really thinking. I mean, I was, but…” he trailed off. “What about– I could– I’m not sure… This is stupid.”
“What is? It’s probably not. You don’t have to be afraid to tell me anything.” She didn’t mean to make it seem like he made her uncomfortable, but flying her out was a bit much.
He took a deep breath before speaking. “I’m off next week, and I could come down and maybe we could get dinner or something. If that’s okay with you. But, if you’re not comfortable… I don’t want to… You don’t have to, if you don’t want to. Just whatever you want.”
She chewed on her bottom lip, thinking it over for a few moments. She wasn’t sure what kind of relationship they could have or if they could have a relationship at all. She didn’t want to start something neither one of them could finish. But, dinner was doable, she supposed. It’s not like she was going to sleep with him after or anything. He kept saying he just wanted to get to know her, and she knew there was something there. It would be unfair to her and to him to continuously deny such a simple request. He wasn’t asking for her hand in marriage. He was just asking for dinner. She could do that. "I mean… if that’s how you wanna spend your time off, I wouldn’t be opposed to dinner.“
She smoothed the fabric of her dress down once more before she entered the restaurant. As she stood at the podium waiting for the hostess to confirm her as the other half of Styles’ party of two and direct her to the table, she had already spotted him out in the far left corner, running his fingers through his hair.
The lady was saying something to her, but she couldn’t hear anything over the beating of her heart. Every time her and Harry had some sort of interaction, she was riddled with nerves. They always eased with time, but she was still confident that one of these times her heart would break her ribs and pump right out of her chest. She didn’t realise they had already arrived until she was snapped out of her daze by the hostess asking if she was okay and Harry lightly grazing her hand. "Oh! Sorry. Sorry,” she said turning to the hostess, then Harry. “I was just thinking about… anatomy…” She flashed a smile to the hostess then quickly plopped down into her seat.
“Your waiter will be right out,” she informed them.
She watched as she made her way back to the front of the restaurant.
“You take an anatomy course in uni or something?”
She blew raspberries into the air, sputtering out a few chuckles trying to release some of her nerves. “No…. I just…” she contemplated telling him what was she was actually thinking about but decided against it. “I find it interesting.” She didn’t know what to say next, so she settled for awkwardly looking around the room.
“I would’ve ordered you a drink, but I didn’t know what you wanted and I didn’t want to like… overstep my boundaries.”
She frowned, not because he didn’t order her a drink but because that one comment she made the week prior obviously still has him shook. “You don’t make me uncomfortable, Harry. I just want you to know that. Also, it’s okay about the drink.”
He nodded his head, chewing on his bottom lip.
They needed to get past this awkwardness if they wanted the evening to go somewhere—anywhere. “So… the weather,” she said, a coy grin plastered on her face.
She watched his face light up, the corners of his mouth turning upwards and dimples coining into his cheeks, before he burst into laughter, then groaned, face turning a lovely shade of pink. “I hate you.”
She held her hands up. “No judgment, bro. What you do on twitter is your business.”
He chuckled softly, shaking his head at her, as she took a sip from her drink and he followed suit. The conversation flowed freely between the two from there. When she didn’t dwell on his career, things were easy. He was a wonderful bloke—respectful, clever, silly, funny—everything she hoped he’d be and more.
He was nose deep in some story about something or the other when he realised she was doing little more than staring at him, too caught up in her thoughts about him to pay attention to what he was actually saying. “Have I got something on my face or summat?”
Her eyebrows raised up before she actually processed he was saying something that required a response. “No, no. You’re just really…”
“Handsome? Hot? Breathtakingly gorgeous?” he asked, cutting her off with a mischievous smirk stuck on his lips.
Her entire face crinkled up. “Self-centered? Narcissistic? Egotistical?” He giggled then nudged her foot with his. “I’m sorry. What were you going to say?”
“I was going to say nice. You’re nice. This is nice.”
He dragged his fork through the pasta she hadn’t finished, stuffing it in his mouth, before agreeing. “Best date I’ve been on in years.”
“This is a date?” Panic swelled within her chest. She hadn’t known this was a date.
He shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly. “I mean, you’re wearing a dress.”
Her jaw dropped. “Yeah, but, that doesn’t mean… This is– I agreed to dinner.” “Does that change anything?” he prodded.
She mulled it over in her head. Calling this little rendezvous a date didn’t change the fact that she thought he was nice and funny and respectful. It didn’t change the fact that she was having a great time. And, it certainly didn’t change the fact that he was, in fact, handsome, hot, and breathtakingly gorgeous. She’d never admit the last part out loud, though. “I guess not,” she pouted.
“So… this is, like, the best date you’ve ever been on, right?”
She snorted. “Stop fishing for compliments.” He stole another bite of her food. “But, I mean, now that this is a date… It’s pretty standard. Like dinner? Okay. What’s next? A movie? The Notebook, perhaps?”
His face lit up and he opened his mouth most likely to suggest actually watching the movie, but she cut him off before he could even get the words out.
“Absolutely not, Harold. That movie is tremendously overrated and painfully anticlimactic.”
He clutched his hand over his chest. “It’s like I don’t even know you, anymore,” he gasped.
This time she painted the smirk on her face. “And, it’s only been a couple weeks, baby. Buckle up, mate. Buckle up.”