It Takes Patience
Chapter 48: Choose Wisely
I woke up alone today and I despised every part of it. When I turned over in bed, my hand searched for skin to skin contact but only ended up touching the cold linen of the sheets that no one had slept on. Harry only spent the night here once and I had already gotten used to having him sleeping in bed next to me. When I look at the clock and it reads seven a.m. I know that I won’t be getting much more rest even if I force myself to stay in bed another hour. Besides I know I have work that needs to be done.
With all that has been going on recently, my analysis paper on H. has somewhat fallen to the wayside. I have only managed to write three more pages since the last time Dr. Baker asked me about it when I was in session with Harry. I decide to get up and submerge myself in my work gathering all of my notes and recordings that I have of sessions and my own personal interviews with H. There is so much more that I need to get from him, but I’m not really sure of how to extract that information out of him yet.
It takes so much out of him when he talks about anything dealing with his stay at Maudsley, his trying to adjust to being at home and especially the incident. His mood changes so fast when I bring it up and I feel so bad for having to do that to him, but I have to get my work done. If he can open up to me fully, I can certainly be an appeal witness and stand behind him when the board comes to an agreement on whether or not he is entirely ready to be out of the Hospital’s care. By nine fifty, I hash out three more pages and give myself a well-deserved break.
Laurie I miss you so much! You live beneath me and I feel like I haven’t seen you in ages. Are you home?
When I think about it, I really haven’t been down to visit Laurie as much as I used to when we first started and it makes me question what kind of friend I am. I never intended to be one of those girls who got so wrapped up in a boy that they barely make time for their friends, but with Harry everything is so new and definitely different than anything I’ve ever experienced. Our relationship...if it is even really considered that, does not fall under the usual boyfriend, girlfriend, or even dating category. We have to be so cautious and there are certain ways that I have to interact with H. that requires a lot more time than most. It’s not a great excuse, but it’s the only one I have right now.
I am home! Do you want me to come up or do you want to come down? Better yet, let’s get brunch! I’m starved and we need to catch up.
I hopped in the shower then put on a pair of blue and white stripped shorts, a white blouse, and my button up jean shirt before I met Laurie down stairs. We decided to go to the café down the street. The same café that Harry and I got into an argument outside of. I was more than a little timid to go back in there. I was too sure that they would have pictures of me and Harry on the wall with the word ‘banned’ in big letters next to them. I wasn’t fully comfortable being back until my eyes skimmed over every inch of every visible wall to make sure that wasn’t the case.
“So how has your study on Harry been going? I know it has to be so demanding.” Laurie asked me genuinely interested and I tell her as much as I can about the work aspect of Harry and me without telling her the intimate aspect.
“...I’m so behind though. I guess I kind of got lazy. I woke up early this morning to write some more so I’m at about thirteen pages now.”
“You’re not lazy, you’re just tired, and that’s a lot of work Rea.” It really is. I’m sure I have over fifty pages of notes, a few interviews, and not to mention tape recordings of sit in sessions that all take me deeper into the many layers of Harry Styles and I’m still not finished yet. I have to decipher between what’s useful and what’s not and still get some important information from Harry that deals with his admittance into Maudsley. After he told me the story, we didn’t really finish the discussion, and when I think about it I’m not sure if three weeks is enough time to get everything I still need and put it into a clean organized and, revised analysis before handing it over to Dr. Baker. I pull myself out of my own head before I stress myself out and ask Laurie about how she and Niall are doing.
“Everything is going really well. I really like him, and I can tell that the feeling is mutual. He’s really an amazing guy, and when he and all of his friends hang out together it’s hysterical. I’ve been out with him and the gang of them a few times and they all become so carefree. I’ve talked to Perrie and Eleanor and they told me how when I’m not around, Niall is either talking about me, pouting because I’m not there or texting me. I keep telling myself not to fall so fast, but then again I did put in an application so that I can transfer schools half way across the world so I can be close to him.”
“I know the feeling.” She almost sounds like how I felt about Harry. Every warning signal in my brain tried to slow me down but it was like telling a ball not to roll down a hill. Once I started, there was no turning back for me.
As L. continued to speak, I’m not sure if it was my focused side that came into play or my curious side, but she did say that she has been able to hang out with ‘the gang’ and I wonder if that includes Harry.
“Laurie, when you hang out with everyone is Harry ever there? I just want to know for my research you know.”
“Yeah, the majority of the time actually, he was there last night. They did a bonfire at Liam’s place. Niall told me that Harry is bipolar, but he was in good spirits yesterday. He’s such the little flirt.” I almost choked on my water. What does she mean flirt? Who was he talking to? Why hadn’t he mentioned anything about a bonfire to me? I was mentally cut off when Laurie grinned and then brought up the subject that I tried to avoid for the past few days.
“How are you and Peyton doing? I hardly get to talk to him now. He must have buried himself in the hospital. When I text him now I barely get a response” The bad taste rises in my mouth again and I know exactly what brings it there, the ongoing feeling for this summer in particular, guilt.
I can’t bring myself to tell Laurie that we’re in a strange place because he loves me, I don’t love him, and I’ve avoided him for the past three or four days after I slept with him on accident, so I just tell her that he’s dedicated to his work. In my defense and in Peyton’s it’s not a lie.
I check the clock as we eat and talk and now that we have mentioned Peyton, I notice that I have no missed calls, no text, and no voicemail from him. Perhaps he’s gotten the picture? I can’t help the sigh that escapes my lips. I am both relieved and upset by the whole thing. I hope there is no bad blood there. I like Peyton, I just can’t commit to a relationship with him. I’m a coward. I know.
When we finish brunch we do some light shopping and I discretely call H. while I’m in the dressing room.
“Hello?” He sounds tired and I start to wonder if he slept as horribly as I did for the same reason as me.
“Hey H. How are you? How are you feeling today?” I’m being nicer than I should be to him right now. As soon as he answered I wanted to drill him about the bonfire, but I know if I had he would have just shut down and went off.
“Fine, fine, I’m fine. You sound like my mum and Gemma.” Snappy H. is an unhappy H.
“No need to get snippy Harold! Maybe you’re not fine if you can’t answer one question before getting exasperated.” I can hear him take a deep calming breath before responding, but my anger builds as he calms himself.
“Sorry, but if you got asked how you felt all day every day every hour on the hour you’d be annoyed too...What are you doing?...I miss you. I mean you bother me so much I've gotten used to this cruel and unusual punishment of you following me around.” Did he just say what I think he did? His voice softened and I try to keep my resolve up, but I can feel it melting the more I think about how cute he’s being right now. He tried to cover it up but its too late. He misses me, but I'm still annoyed about the flirting and the bonfire that I knew nothing about. I can understand why I couldn't be there, but he could have at least told me.
“I’m just out with Laurie. We went to brunch and now we’re-” I hear a beep come through my phone letting me know I have a call waiting and when I check to see who it is, my nerves peek when I see Dr. Bakers name appear on the screen.
“Um H. let me call you back. Dr. Baker is calling me. I love you.” It’s become a normal thing for me to say now.
“Okay, well I um...Bye.” Harry hangs up awkwardly and it reminds me of how strangely he acted yesterday when he came to get me for session and when he dropped me off. I thought that he was still annoyed with me about our little spat at my place before he left earlier, but it wasn’t that. I couldn’t have been that. I click over not giving it too much more thought and answer Dr. Baker before it’s too late.
“Hello Dr. Baker.”
“Reagan, how are you?” I’m sure Dr. B doesn’t do social calls with interns so this chit chat begins to make me all the more nervous.
“I’m good and yourself?”
“Good, are you busy at the moment Reagan?
“No not really. I’m just out doing some shopping.” I can feel my palm get sweaty and I switch my phone to the other hand so that I can dry my palm on my shirt.
“I need you to make it to a meeting here in my office at two. Does that work for you?”
“Of course.” I half way squeaked and there are now full on nervous butterflies in my stomach the size of Harry’s tattoo. What did I need to be at a meeting for? I wouldn’t dare form the words to ask her over the phone. Don’t get me wrong. Dr. Baker is a sweet person, but she is still technically my boss and intimidating as all hell.
“Good. Bring all of your research that you have with you as well. See you then.”
When we got back to our apartment, there could have been a hole in the ground as I paced back and forth in Laurie’s living room. What is this about? I twist my fingers into knots in front of me and try to listen to Laurie calm me down.
“Maybe she’s just checking what you have so far?”
“Do you think so? God I hope so.” Laurie grabs me to sit me down on the couch.
“I heard that she sometimes does shit like this just to make sure you’re on your game and you’ve been working non-stop. Don’t stress.” I try to take a calming breath like Harry does to settle my nerves. It somewhat works but I can still feel the butterflies inside. They start to flutter in full force and I rise from the couch again, unable to keep still.
“Look, you should take a nap, it's only twelve. After you wake up you can change and go to the meeting rested. You look kind of tired Rea.” I haven’t really looked at myself in the mirror but when she mentions it, I check the closest reflective surface I can find. My eyes have slight bags under them and they are darker than usual. I’m stressed, everything is running me thin and the surprise phone call didn’t help.
“Here Reagan, Lie down you can sleep here and I'll wake you at one. One hour will do you good." Laurie forces me to lie down even as I protest. I hadn't realized how tired I was and my all of my thoughts turn into a whisper as I succumb to the call of the pillow.
When Laurie wakes me up, I feel like I had only been to sleep for fifteen minutes and wake up groggier than before.
“How do you feel now?”
“Worse. There’s too much playing in my mind for me to relax.” I wish Harry was here. He works as both my calming agent and my frenzy even when I’m upset with him, like I am now. I know it would make no sense to anyone else but it does to me. I head up to my apartment to get changed into something office meeting appropriate, gather my recordings, notes and flash drive that contains my paper, and call for a taxi.
When I get to the hospital, the pep talk I had given myself in my head during the ride renders itself completely useless and when I reach for the door I can notice the slight tremor of my hand. I make it to Dr. Baker’s office and give the cleansing breath one last shot to work its magic before I knock on her door.
“Come in.” When I push open the heavy oak that blocks my entry way, I am instructed to have a seat by Dr. Baker and my anxieties amplify tenfold when I see that Dr. Leerman is also present.
“Reagan we’ve called a meeting because it has been brought to our attention that your work with your case study has been progressing in more than a professional manner.” When Dr. Leerman spoke my heart stopped. We’ve been so careful. We haven't let anyone know. Well except for Channel, but that’s just like not telling anyone. We made sure any embrace we have is in private, definitely miles away from the hospital. I glance at Dr. Baker and she has a sympathetic look on her face. I try to respond but my mouth goes dry as if it’s been filled with cotton.
“Reagan do you deny this claim?” All of me want’s to lie and tell him the claim is false with confidence, but it’s taken me too long to answer. They would know something is up if I try to lie now.
“I have taken an interest in Harry, yes, however I have not let that get in the way of any work that I have conducted on him. I haven’t become biased in any way, because I know his mental health is more important than anything that I could feel for him.” It’s true. I wouldn’t let my feelings for Harry cloud my judgment on his progression. If he needed help, I would be honest and tell them he’s doing poorly for his sake. I love him that much.
“I appreciate your honesty, but unfortunately relationships with patients and staff is strictly prohibited here at Maudsley. In your letter of welcome in the hand book it says that interns here are to be treated as staff. You read this correct?” I can feel tears sting the back of my eyes. I know what’s about to happen.
“Yes.” I dropped my head halfway trying to fight back the lump in my throat and the tears that have begun to fall sporadically. I know if I breakdown now it will be like unleashing a dam. As Dr. Leerman opens his mouth to speak, his phone rings and he takes it out of his pocket to answer. It must have been important because, he leaves our meeting and asks Dr. Baker to ‘handle’ the rest of this one.
“Reagan you’re a valuable pupil and I know you’ve worked very hard to be here and even harder on Harry’s case analysis. It is unfortunate that this happened, but I know that feelings can’t be controlled. I feel that this is partially my fault for allowing you to shadow Harry. I know he can be quite the charmer, so here is what I’m going to do. I am good friends with James Koch. He has a private practice for therapy in San Francisco and he travels here a lot to do research. I will write you a letter of recommendation and even though you will no longer be able to continue you research here, I will still count it towards your resume. He is looking for an assistant and you would be a perfect candidate. You won’t receive the scholarship unfortunately but this may be more beneficial. I’m going out on a limb for you and it would be our secret if you decide accept the offer, so say nothing to Dr. Leerman about it. You have a week to decide before your work visa is revoked.”
Everything that Dr. Baker was saying made my head spin. It’s all happening too fast. One week to decide, one week to spend with Laurie, one week to explain to my parents why I’m home so early, one week left with Harry. Tears had now begun to stream more freely down my face. Three weeks was certainly not enough time, but at least then we would have had time to figure things out between us. One week gives us nothing. I nodded my head agreeing to tell her my decision well before August fourteenth and as I rose I left all my research and my half written analysis of H. on the desk in front of me. As I reached the door Dr. Baker spoke to me one last time before I left.
“Reagan?” I turned my head to look at her in the eye and she spoke again.
Update cuz I loves you lol!! So what do you think? It took me a while to edit this chapter, but the way I revised it I realize now that this story may go well into the fifties before the sequel starts. That also give me a bit of time to get my rating back to a ten and get more subscribers and views. Soooo with that being said be sure to vote and subscribe if you are enjoying this little story and want it to continue!! I would love if the subscribe number and rating went up. And please, please, please comment and tell me what you think of the chapter because I live off of reading your comments and replying back to you guys! I love doing that as much as writing (seriously)!!!! LOVE YOU ALL FOR READING Xx :D