Sunday, 20 May 2018

AFTER ROMANCE Episode 11-15

His eyes meet mine and I notice that his eyes are green, he hasn't actually made eye contact with me until now. He looks away quickly and I walk past him out of the bathroom. He grabs my arm, not gently and pulls me back.
"Do not touch me!" I yell and jerk my arm from him.
"Have you been crying?" he asks, his tone curious. If it wasn't Harry I might actually think he was concerned.
"Just leave me alone Harry" he stands in front of me, his tall frame blocking my movements. I can't take much more of his games. "Harry, please. I am begging you, if you have one decent bone in your body you will leave me be. Just save whatever mean comment you are going to say for tomorrow. Please" I beg him, literally. A flash of confusion flashes in his eyes before he speaks.
"There is a room down the hall you can sleep in, Steph is already in there." he says. I wait a second for him to say something else, but he doesn't. He just stares at me.
"Okay" I say and he moves out of my way.
"It's the third door on the left." he instructs and heads down the hall. "Goodnight Theresa" I hear as he disappears into his bedroom. What the hell was that? Harry without any rude comments? I know I am in for it if I see him tomorrow. He is probably already planning out all the snide comments he will make to me.
The third room on the left is a plain room, much smaller than Harry's with two small beds. It looks more like a dorm room than the large room that Harry has. Maybe he is the leader or something? The more likely explanation is that everyone is afraid of him and he bullied his way into the largest room. Steph is laying across one of the beds so I kick off my shoes and cover her with the blanket before locking the door and laying down on the other bed. My thoughts are all over the place as I fall asleep, images of swallows and green eyes flow through my dreams.

It takes a moment to remember where I am when I wake up. The horrible party and the even worse night floods into my memory and I groan as I climb out of bed. Steph is still passed out, I might as well let her sleep while I find out how we are getting back to the dorms. I put my shoes on and unlock the door. Should I knock on Harry's door or try and find Niall? Is Niall even part of the frat? I would never guessed that Harry is so maybe Niall is too. The hallway is empty and surprisingly clean despite the party last night. I have to step over sleeping bodies as I make my way downstairs.
"Niall?" I call, hoping to hear a reply. There are at least twenty five people sleeping in the living room alone. The floor is littered with red cups and trash. When I reach the kitchen I try to force myself not to clean it up. This will take the whole frat house all day to clean up after this party. I would love to see Harry cleaning up all this trash, as the thought goes through my head I stifle a giggle.
"What's so funny?" I turn around and of course Harry is entering the kitchen, a trash bag in his hand. He sweeps his arm over the counter top, making the cups fall into the trash bag.
"Nothing.. does Niall live here too?' He ignores me and continues to clean up. He must be the only one awake and cleaning. Good, he deserves to have to clean this whole mess up. "Does he?" I ask again, more impatient this time. "The sooner you tell me if Niall lives here, the sooner I can leave,"
"Now you have my attention, but no he doesn't live here. Does he seem like a frat boy to you?" He smirks.
"No, but neither do you," I snap and his jaw tenses.
He ignores my comment and continues to clean. "Is there a bus that runs close to here?" I ask, not expecting an answer.
"Yep, well its about a block away,"
"Could you tell me where it is?"
"It is not that hard to find," the corners of his mouth lift, taunting me.
I roll my eyes and walk out of the kitchen. Harry's momentary lack of rude comments last night was obviously a one time thing and he was coming at me full force today. After the night I had I can't stand to be around him. I wake up Steph and we walk downstairs.
"Harry said there is a bus stop around the block," I tell her and she laughs.
"No way we are not taking the bus, he will drive us back. He was probably just giving you a hard time," she says, her hand resting on my shoulder. "Harry, you ready to take us back now? My head is pounding,"
"Yeah, sure just give me a minute," he says and I scoff. At least he is nice to Steph, I wonder how long they have been friends.
During the drive back to the dorms Steph sings along to whatever metal song is playing through the speakers and Harry rolls all the windows down. Despite my pleas to roll them up. He stays silent the whole way, mindlessly drumming his long fingers against the steering wheel.
"Ill come by later Steph," he tells her as she climbs out of the passenger seat. She nods and waves as I open my door.
"Bye Theresa," he smirks and I roll my eyes and follow her into the dorm.

The rest of the weekend goes quickly and luckily I manage to avoid seeing Harry. I made sure to make a trip to the store Sunday before he came to the room in order to avoid him. The new clothes I bought fill up my small dresser, as I put them away Harry's obnoxious voice pops in my head "You know we are going to a party not church'' he said and would most certainly say again if he saw my new clothes. I have decided that I am no longer going to be going to parties with Steph, or anywhere that Harry may be. He isn't good company and he exhausts me mentally.
It's now Monday morning, my first day of college classes and I couldn't be more prepared. I woke up extra early to make sure I could take a shower and not be rushed. My button up shirt and pleated skirt are perfectly ironed and ready to be put on. I plan on leaving soon so I can get to my first class at least fifteen minutes early to ensure that I won't be late.
Steph's alarm goes off but she hits the snooze button. Should I wake her? Her classes may start later than mine, or maybe she isn't planning on going. The idea of missing the first day of classes stresses me out but she is a sophomore so maybe she has it under control. Finally, it is time to get dressed and ready to go. I get dressed, repin my hair and put my bag over my shoulder. With one last glance in the mirror, I head to my first class. I am grateful that I studied the campus map so I can find my classes easily. When I walk into my freshman history class the room is empty, except one person.
I choose to sit next to him, he obviously cares about being on time. Just like me.
"Where is everyone?" I ask him and he smiles. He has an adorable smile.
"Probably running across campus to barely make it here on time," he laughs and I instantly like him. That is exactly what I would have said.
"I'm Tessa Young," I say and give him a friendly smile.
"Liam Payne," he says with an equally adorable smile as the first one. We spend the rest of the time before class talking, we are both English majors and he has a girlfriend named Danielle. He doesn't mock me when I tell him that Noah is a grade below me. I'm really glad that I sat next to him. The class fills up and me and Liam make a point to introduce ourselves to the professor.
As the day continues, I begin to regret taking five classes instead of four. I rush to my Literature class and barely make it on time. Thank god it is my last class of the day. I am relieved when I see Liam sitting in the front row, the seat next to him empty. "Hey again," he smiles and I sit down next to him.
The professor begins the class, handing out the syllabus for the semester and tells the class about himself. I am so glad that college is different from high school, the professors don't make you stand in front of the class and introduce yourself or any other embarrassing and unnecessary things.
Right in the middle of the professor explaining our reading lists, the door opens and my mouth drops. Of course, just when I thought my day was going decently, in stumbles Harry. "Ugh," I say under my breath and Liam laughs.
"You know Harry Styles?" He asks. Harry must have quite the reputation around the campus if someone as sweet as Liam knows him.
"Sort of, my roommate is friends with him. He's a jerk," I whisper. Harry's eyes lock on mine and I worry that he heard me. I honestly don't; care if he did, it's not like he isn't aware he is a jerk. I find myself curious about what Liam knows about him though, I can't help but ask. "Do you know him?"
"Yea.. he's.." he stops talking and his eyes look behind me. I look up and see Harry sliding into the desk next to me. Liam stays quiet for the rest of the class.
"That is all for today, I will see you all Wednesday," Professor Hill says and dismisses us.
"I think this will be favorite class," I tell Liam and he agrees. His face falls and I turn to see Harry walking next to us.
"What do you want Harry?" I ask, giving him a taste of his own medicine. it doesn't work, he seems amused.
"Nothing at all. I am so glad we have a class together," he mocks and runs his hands through his hair, shaking it and pushing it up on his forehead.
"I'll see you later Tessa," Liam says. He looks at Harry one more time and walks the opposite way.
"You would find the lamest kid in class to befriend,"
"Don't say that about him, he is sweet and smart. Unlike you," I'm shocked at my harsh words to him. He really brings out the worst in me.
"You're getting feistier every time we talk Theresa,"
"If you call me Theresa one more time.." I warn and he laughs. I try to picture him without his tattoos and piercings, he is actually attractive but his personality ruins him.
"Stop staring at me," he says and turns the corner, disappearing before I can think of a comeback.

It is finally Friday and my first week of college is almost over. Feeling pleased with the way the week has gone, I plan on taking time from my studying tonight to rent some movies since Steph will most likely be at a party. Having all my classes syllabus really makes things easier for me so I can do a lot of the work ahead of time. I grab my bag and leave early, stopping by the café to grab a coffee to get an extra jump start on the day.
"Tessa right?" A girls voice says behind me as I wait in line. I turn around to find the pink haired girl from the party. Molly I think Steph called her.
"Yea" I answer and turn back around.
"Are you coming to the party tonight?" She asks. Sighing, I turn around again and shake my head. "You should, it's going to be awesome" she says and smiles. Her runs her tiny fingers over a large swirling tattoo on her forearm.
"Too bad, I know Zayn wanted to see you" she says and I can't help but laugh. "What? He was talking about you just yesterday"
"I doubt that.. but even if he was, I have a boyfriend" I tell her, causing her smile to grow.
"Too bad, we could have double dated," she smirks and I thank god when my order is ready. My hand wraps around the cup too quickly and a little bit of coffee laps over the edge and burns my hand, I curse under my breath and walk away.
Double date with who? Molly and Harry obviously. No thank you. Zayn was nice and all but Noah is everything to me. We haven't spoken much this week but that's only because my schedule is so busy. I send him a quick text telling him I miss him and make my way to my classes.
The day has been great. Liam and I have been meeting by the bookstore to walk to Literature together. He is leaning against the brick wall and as I reach him he greets me with a big smile.
"I am leaving about thirty minutes into class today, I am flying home for the weekend" he tells me.
"That is so exciting!" I tell him, maybe I should go home for the weekend sometime. My mom's house is only two hours away but I still haven't bought a car yet so I will have to wait.
As promised, Liam leaves thirty minutes into class and suddenly I am very aware of Harry sitting next to me. In college we can sit wherever we want, a different chair everyday if we want but Harry always sits next to me in the front row. I know he does it just to annoy me but I have ignored him all week.
"We will begin our week long discussion of Jane Austen's, Pride and Prejudice starting tomorrow!" Professor Hill announces just as the class ends. I can't help my huge grin, I have read that novel at least ten times. It's one of my absolute favorites.
"Let me guess, you just love Mr. Darcy," Harrys says in a mocking tone as I walk outside.
"Actually yes I do" We reach the intersection and I look both ways before crossing the street.
"Of course you do" he laughs, continuing to follow me.
"I am sure you aren't able to comprehend Mr. Darcy's appeal" My mind goes to the massive collection of novels in Harry's room. They couldn't possibly be his. Could they?
"A man who is rude and intolerable being made into a romantic hero? It's ridiculous. If Elizabeth had any sense she would have told him to fuck off,"
I laugh at his choice of words but cover my mouth, stopping myself. I was actually enjoying myself bantering with him, but it would only be a matter of time, minutes if I am lucky, until he says something hurtful.  He has a dimpled grin across his face and I can't help but admire his good looks. Piercings and all.
"So you do agree that Elizabeth is an idiot?" He raises his eyebrow.
"No, she is one of the strongest, most complex characters ever written" I defend. He laughs again and I join him. Something flashes in his eyes and he stops laughing.
"I will see you around Theresa" he says and turns on his heel. What is with him? Before I can begin to analyze his actions, my phone rings. It's Noah. I feel an odd guilty feeling as I answer.
"Hey Tess, I was going to text you back but I figured I might as well call." Noah's voice sounds rushed.
"What are you doing? You sound busy"
"No, I am on my way to meet some friends at the grill" he explains.
"Okay, well I won't keep you. I am so glad it is Friday. I am ready for the weekend"
"Are you going to another party? Your mom is still disappointed" Why did he mention it to my mom? I love that he is close with my mom but sometimes dating him is like having an annoying little brother that tattles on me. Did I just compare him to a brother? It has been a long week.
"No, I am not going to a party, I miss you"
" I miss you too Tess. So much. Call me later okay?"
I agree and we exchange "I love you's" before hanging up.
When I get back to my room, Steph is getting ready for the party tonight, I assume it is at Harry's frat house. I log into Netflix and browse the movies, deciding which to watch tonight.
" I really wish you would come, I swear we won't stay this time. Just come for a little bit. Watching movies alone in this small room sounds miserable!" she whines and I laugh. She continues to beg me while she teases her hair and changes into three different dresses. She decides on a white dress that leaves very little to the imagination. The white color of the dress looks really good with her bright red hair I have to admit. I envy her confidence. I know I have a decent body, curves in all the right places but I am just not comfortable with my body the way she is. I tend to wear clothes that hide my large bust while she tries to make hers draw as much attention as possible.
"I know, I just.. ugh! What the heck?" I yell at my laptop screen that is now all black. I try to turn it off and on but it doesn't change from the black screen.
"It's a sign that you should come. My laptop is in Niall's room so you cant use mine" she smirks and fluffs her hair again. I really don't want to sit in the dorm alone without anything to do or watch.
"Fine, but we are leaving before midnight" I groan and she jumps up and down, clapping her hands.

I change out of my pajamas and put on a new pair of jeans that I haven't worn yet. They are a little tighter than my usual pants but I need to do laundry so I don't have a choice but to wear them. My shirt is a simple black button up, sleeveless shirt with lace trim on the shoulders.
"Wow, I actually like your outfit a lot" Steph tells me. I assume it is a compliment despite the surprise in her voice that she would actually like something I am wearing. I smile and she tries to offer me eyeliner again,
"Not this time" I tell her, remembering how it smeared from my tears last time. Why did I agree to go back there again?
"Molly is picking us up instead of Niall, she just text so she will be here any minute"
"I don't think she likes me" I know she doesn't.
"She does, she is just too honest sometimes and I think she is intimated by you"
"By me? Why on earth would she be intimated by me?" I laugh. I am the one intimidated by her.
"I think just because you're so different from us" she says and smiles. I know I am different from them but to me they are the "different" ones. "Don't worry about her she will be occupied tonight" she laughs.
"By Harry?" I ask before I can stop myself. I can't help but notice the way she is looking at me with her eyebrow raised.
"No, by Zayn probably. She changes guys every week." That's a harsh thing to say about her friend but she just smiles.
"She isn't dating Harry?" The image of them making out on the bed comes into my mind.
"No way, Harry doesn't date. He just messes around with a lot of girls but he doesn't date anyone. Ever"
"Oh" is all I manage to say. She gives me a strange smile and grabs her purse.
"Lets go" she grabs my arm and pulls me outside.
The party tonight is the same as last week, tons of people, drunk people everywhere. Why didn't I just stay in and stare at my ceiling? Molly disappears as soon as we arrive and I end up getting a spot on the couch and staying there for at least an hour before Harry walks by.
"You look.. different" he says as I stand up. His eyes rake down my body and back up. He doesn't even try to be subtle about it. I stay silent and his eyes meet mine. "Your clothes actually fit you tonight" he laughs. I roll my eyes and adjust my shirt, suddenly wishing I was wearing my normal loose clothing. "I am surprised to see you here"
"Yea.. I am surprised that I ended up here again." I say and walk away from him. He doesn't follow, but for some reason I find myself wishing we would have.
A few hours later, Steph is drunk again, well everyone is drunk again. "Lets play truth or dare" Zayn slurs and their small group of tattooed friends gather around the couch. Molly passes a bottle of clear alcohol to Niall and he takes a swig. Harry's hand covers his entire red cup as he takes a sip.
They all agree to play a drunken game of truth or dare which couldn't possibly end well. Another punk looking girl joins the game, making it Harry, Zayn, Niall, Niall's roommate Tristan, Molly,, Steph, and the new girl. "You should play Tessa" Molly says with a wicked smile.
"No, I'd rather not" I tell her and look away.
"Like she would actually play, she would have to stop being a prude for five minutes" Harry tells them and they all laugh except Steph. His words anger me, I am not a prude. Yea, I will admit I am not by any means wild, but I am no prude. I glare at Harry and sit down cross legged in their little circle, in between Niall and the new girl. Harry laughs and whispers something to Zayn before they start.
The first few truths and dares include Zayn being dared to chug an entire beer can, Molly being dared to flash their group her bra, (which she did) and finding out that Steph has her nipples pierced.
"Truth or dare Theresa?" Niall asks and I gulp.
"Truth?" I squeak. Harry laughs and mutters "of course" I ignore him and Niall rubs his hands together.
"Are you a virgin?" Niall asks and I choke on my own breath. No one seems fazed by the intrusive question besides me. I feel the heat in my cheeks and the humor in everyone's faces.
"Well?" Zayn says. Despite how much I want to run away and hide, I just nod. Of course I am a virgin, the furthest Noah and I have gone sexually is making out and him touching my bottom, through my jeans of course.
No one seems surprised by my answer, just intrigued. "So you have been dating Noah for two years and you haven't had sex?" Steph asks and I shift uncomfortably. I just shake my head.
"Harry's turn" I say, hoping to take the attention off myself.
To be continued

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