Save Your Heart
In just about 24 hours, One Direction will be landing at JFK Airport, to thousands of screaming fans no doubt. There were ad’s all over the city; “One Direction Takes Over The Big Apple!” and “The British Invasion In NYC!”How about a more accurate one? Like, “Anna Hollis’s Slow But Inevitable Descent Into Depressed Single Cat Lady Only Picks Up Speed After Seeing Her Ex Boyfriend Traipsing Around Town with Several Sluts!” Yeah, that one sounds pretty accurate.
“So when are you planning on coming back this time?” I asked my mom as she rifled through her walk-in closet, pulling out various outfits and shoes for yet another vacation with whatever-his-name-is.“Well, we’re not really sure honey. We just wanna get away for awhile, you know? It’s just so damn hot here. And you know that the city completely clears out in the summer, everyone’s in The Hamptons. And you know I would ask you to come, but I don’t want you missing any of your meetings with Dr. Newton.” That was code for ‘I don’t actually want to invite you, but I feel bad saying it. In reality I want to go away with my (gag) ‘boyfriend’ and pretend not to have two royally screwed up kids and a bitter ex-husband to deal with in our messy post-divorce drama’.
“Well, have fun, I guess.”
“Thanks sweetie! I’ll leave a credit card on the counter, call a cab whenever!” She kept talking as I walked from her bedroom, down the hall, and into my room. which was a complete mess. It symbolized the relationship I had with my mother pretty well, actually. She had it redecorated the summer after my freshman year. When she and my dad were still together she was always doing projects around the house, probably to distract her from what was actually going on. Anyway, she had it done in all soft creams and peaches, with everything just a little bit too… together, and perfect. Which is where I came in. For example, currently, on top of my perfect white-painted fireplace were piles of books, ones I didn’t bring to London (those were still packed in boxes, along with most of my stuff). I had tons of pictures and little things taped and tacked up all over the place. My mom hated it, but also didn’t have the time, energy, or motivation to fix it herself.
Flopping onto my unmade bed, I opened my laptop. Immediately, a video chat notification appeared. From Danielle!“Heyyyyy girlie!” She said in her typically cheery tone. The picture appeared with not only Danielle in the frame, but Eleanor and Perrie too.
“Hey guys! “ I said, a twinge of sadness in my voice. I missed these girls so much. If there was one simple reason to go back to London in August, it was them.
“So, how’s our girl been? We haven’t heard from you in a while…”
“I know, i’m sorry. It’s been ridiculous. My mom has me going to a therapist every week who’s supposed to like, ‘fix me’. I don’t know… But, that’s all really depressing. I don’t want to talk about it. How have you guys been?! Superstar Perrie!” The blonde on the other side of the screen just giggled, averting her eyes in modesty.
“Yah, it’s going great.” She smiled, clearly proud of herself. Which she should be!
“And El? Getting ready to kick some ass at school this year?”
“Of course.” She joked.
“And I don’t even have time for you anymore Dani, you’re just way too fabulous for us all.” I laughed.
“Shut up!” Danielle laughed as the other two girls agreed with me.
“Alright, MOVING ON! When are you getting your ass back over here? We miss you.”
“Well, that’s a bit of a sore subject in my house. My mom’s trying to convince me to stay here, I refuse, it causes a fight, blah blah blah. It’s very dramatic.”
“Well if she doesn’t let you back here we’re coming and kidnapping you and sneaking you through customs and don’t you dare protest.”
“Trust me, i’m all for it if it comes down to that. Anything to get out of this damn city.”
We talked for a while longer about what everyone has been doing for the past few weeks; their lives significantly more interesting than mine, which was fine. After ending the video chat I realized it was already 8:30. My mom had left…
without even saying goodbye.
For the rest of the night I was pretty much a complete wreck, with no one at all to talk to. I was tired of leaning on people, on making every conversation my very own pity party. I didn’t want thing’s to be like this. But sometimes you just needed someone to talk to. So, for the second night in a row, I confided in Molly.
“I’m really sorry about this…” I said quietly. I wanted to explain how I was feeling, but I didn’t even know how I was feeling.
“No! It’s no problem at all! I wanna talk to you and be here for you with this stuff… Just, talk to me.”
“ I just- it’s tomorrow. I can’t believe it. And I can’t believe that i’m making such a big deal out of it because I could very easily go the entire time without seeing him at all. So why am I freaking out?! Right?! But like, I don’t know… this little part of me almost… wants to see him. And another little part of me wants to slap him and tell him I hate him. And then, there’s this whole other little part that…-”
“That loves him?” She said, finishing my sentence.
I sighed, hating the sound of my own depressing voice at this point. “Yeah..”
“Babe, it’s okay to still love him. As much as you hate to admit it, you know he’s not actually a bad person. He’s made some shit choices lately, no one’s denying that. But it could easily be just, him trying to cope, just like you are. Guys just, tend to do it in a slightly different way.” I chuckled.
“The worst part is that I don’t want to just, fall back into place with him. More like, I can’t. He broke me, so badly. And I refuse to be that girl who forgives a guy the second he comes back. The amount I went through last school year…”
“I know, I know. I just think maybe you two need to have a real proper talk, you know? Not over the phone, but really in person. But don’t force it either. If it happens, let it happen. If it doesn’t, and you go the entire week without seeing him, then maybe it’s a sign.”
“You are SO much better than my therapist.” I laughed, wishing I could hug her tight and thank her for putting up with me.
“I love you, Molls. You really are the best.”
“Love you lot’s.”
“You should go, I don’t want to keep Keenan waiting too long. He’ll hate me for stealing you away on your one night off this week.”
“Oh, whatever, he’ll get over it. But i’ll talk to you later, yeah?”
“Yeah. Thanks again.”
I appreciated Molly more than anything. But after hanging up, I would be lying if I said I felt better. Instead, I think I sort of felt worse. I mean, Molly was in London with her perfect boyfriend doing an amazing job at her internship, Perrie was off being famous, Danielle was getting more jobs than her boyfriend at this point, and Eleanor was being a genius at University. And what the hell was I doing? Sitting alone in my apartment while even my MOM had more of a social life than I did.This needed to change. Now.
I was gonna change, tomorrow.
Geez, a lot of things were happening tomorrow.
With my earbuds still intact, sunglasses on, and eyes cast downward, I readied myself for the screams I could already hear from inside the building, even with my music blasting.
“Harry!” Louis yelled, pulling one of my headphones out.
“What?” I grumbled.
“You’re seriously not gonna talk to the girls outside? Apparently they’ve been waiting for hours.” He said with a tad of annoyance in his voice.
“I know, I just- Fine, whatever.” My guilt got the best of me as I stuffed my phone in the pocket of my zip-up hoodie.
Walking through the JFK Airport, my head was spinning with memories of me showing up here for Anna after Christmas. And leaving here together to go to Hawaii….
And now, here I was again.
“Hey, man. You’re gonna be fine.” I heard Liam say quietly, giving me a pat on the back. As we stepped outside to the screams and the flashing camera’s, I was forced to forget about everything else and just focus on this. It was drizzling rain and I felt a wave of guilt wash over me once again at the thought of not making the fans happy. They’ve taken the time to wait for us, in the rain no less, so the least I could do is resiprocate the best I could.
Countless pictures and autographs later we were in the car on our way to the hotel, white light flashes still in my eyes whenever I blinked.My earbuds were back in, music blasting, as I stared out the window at this city.
I couldn’t help but wonder if I was looking at the same things she looks at, or passing by places that she’s been to. Or if possibly, within the crows of people, I was literally driving right by her.It’s insane, and unrealistic, i’m completely aware of that. But in my own head, I didn’t care. Because I was gonna find her, and I was gonna fix this.
Our first day in New York went by in a jet-lag-induced haze. There were interviews, promo, radio shows, and a fitting- all in the span of just a few hours. I was exhausted. And I knew that my voice was sensitive; If I wanted to be up for four shows while we’re here, I needed to rest. Which was how I decided to skip the night time sightseeing and dinner outing that a couple people from our band, plus Niall and Liam, were going on and just go to sleep.
Lying in my empty hotel room that night, hearing the sounds of New York City 40 stories below me, was a surreal feeling. I couldn’t stop thinking about the last time I had been here, and how much I wish I could just go back to that time, knowing what I know now, and fix it all.But I couldn’t, so I was going to do that now.
If this was meant to be the start of a ‘New Stage In My Life”; it wasn’t getting off to the best star. I mean, this whole New Me thing was supposed to start yesterday. But in all honesty; it had rained all day and I was tired and, yes, I was a little scared. I knew it was D Day. They were here. And although it made me seem like a coward, I didn’t really want to face reality, at least just for one more day.
So, now, it’s a new day. And i’m ready for my life to re-start.
I started the day with 2 cups of coffee, the requirement to at least get me up and competent to get ready. I wasn’t sure what I was getting ready for, (Let’s be serious for a second, yes I did. I just wasn’t even willing to admit that one to myself. I mean isn’t it just a little coincidence that I choose to actually go out and face the real world on this particular day, of all other ays?).I showered, put on minimal makeup because it was bound to just sweat off in the boiling heat, blow dryed my hair, putting it into a loose side fishtail braid to at least keep it off of my neck, and picked out my favorite white sundress. Slipping into my favorite brown TopShop sandals and Aviators; I felt good.
I’m actually serious. For the first time in a really long time, I really did feel kind of good about myself.
It was like some sort of miracle or something.
* 5 Hours Later *
So the day didn’t go exactly as planned. I purposely steered clear of Rockefeller Center, which was where Radio City Music Hall was very conveniently located. But it didn’t really help me that much. I tried shopping at Urban Outfitters, but all the wannabe hipster teenage girls recognised me and started voicing their own opinion, which I never actually asked for. So I went to a Starbucks and had a Venti Americano and one of those huge carrot and cream cheese frosting muffins and listened to Lewis Watson and tried not to care that my life had actually become so pathetic that I was now one of those people who hung out at Starbucks alone.
I ended up buying nail polish, the newest Cosmo, a Diet Coke, a bag of Sunchips, and a pack of pretzel M&M’s at CVS, and took the long way home, steering clear of every major street where the One Direction fans that seemed to have taken over the city were most likely to be.
Walking into the empty apartment, I felt like I was going to cry. And not even because he was actually here, in this city, or because my mom had left without even saying a word to me, or that my brother had been gone all summer and only called once, or because all my friends were living much more exciting and important lives than me. To be honest, I wasn’t even sure why. I was just, completely lost. And lonely. And I wanted something more to do than show up at my therapist every week and hope that girls on the internet would stop analyzing my entire existence. So how was I supposed to fix this? What could I possibly do?
“Go on in.” The bouncer said, releasing the velvet rope and allowing me into the club. The rest of the boys were already inside, as I was running late. It had taken me a lot to actually get out of the hotel and get my arse here. I wasn’t interested in the parties, but our American record label had rented out the VIP room for us, so I really was just required to show up.
Winding my way through the crowd, I spotted Niall at the bar.
“This fucking country, I can’t even get a pint!” He exclaimed, hitting his palms down on the counter.
“You’ve just gotta play it cool. Here-” I chuckled, casually getting the attention of the bartender.
“Can we have Heineken and 2 shots of your best Vodka with lime?” He nodded, turning around to fetch our drinks.
“HOW THE HELL DID YOU DO THAT YOU ASSHOLE!?”
“Just seem like you’re supposed to be here, you know?” A moment later, two small glasses of clear liquid were set in front of me. I downed the first one in a split second, sucking on the lime to counteract the burning in my throat. I was about to grab the second one when he stopped me.
“You alright, mate?”
“I’m fine, I just needed this.” I responded, grabbing the other shot and letting it slide down my throat, managing to let the burning subside this time, squeezing my eyes shut for a few seconds. Opening them, I saw a concerned look on Niall’s face.
“I’m fine Niall, fine. Why wouldn’t I be?”
“Are you seriously asking that question?” He asked sarcastically.
Ignoring his question, I hit the bar again, signaling for two more shots.
“Take it slow Harry, I’ve got a feeling that it’s gonna be a long night.”
For some reason unbeknownst to me, I felt the need to go against what he said.
An hour later, I was about six shots deep and had no intentions of stopping anytime soon. I was feeling numb, emotionless for the first time in months. And for some reason, I thought this was a better idea than facing my problems head on.
“LIAMMM!!! I’VE MISSED YOU BUDDY!”
“Yeah, okay Harry. We need to get you back to your hotel. We’ve got a bloody show tomorrow.” He was clearly irritated but I was too far gone to know or care.
“No, no way Payne. I gotta go…” I mumbled incoherently, stumbling down the stairs from the VIP Room, making my way towards the front door.
“Harry! Where the fuck are you going?!” I heard Liam calling from behind me. I didn’t bother looking back, I knew he was going to chase after me no matter what I said.
“I’m gonna go find her.”
“No, no way in hell am I letting you do this right now.” He tried grabbing my arm but I pushed past a group of giddy girls, towards a cab. Struggling to open the door, I eventually was able to. But right before I was about to get inside, I felt Liam’s hand on my shoulder.
“Harry, you need to think about what you’re doing!” Spinning around, My first collided with something. Apparently, Lima’s face.
“JESUS FUCKING CHRIST!” I rarely heard Liam curse. I should feel guilty, but I just felt desperate to get out of here and to her.
“Sorry Liam, but there’s no way in hell you’re talking me out of this.” I said, before ducking into the cab, giving the driver Anna’s address, which I hadn’t realized until now that I had memorized.