It Takes Patience III: Stripped
Chapter 51: Him and Me and his Demons make Three
Harry tossed and turned in his sleep. I could tell that he wasn’t resting easily but as long as he didn’t wake tonight at all, I could deal with the way that he moved in his sleep. I lied awake reading and rereading the text message that he sent my father as I watched him sleep and wondered to how it was that Harry couldn’t see the change in himself.
Hours passed quickly, but I couldn’t bring myself to close my eyes and before I knew it, it was already five in the morning. When Harry showed me our tickets, it didn’t say that we would be leaving until later on this evening, but with everything that’s happened I want to at least try to get tickets that leave for an earlier flight. I know it wouldn’t be long before my dad would try to call and find me. I told them both that I was safe and alright, but the next time we speak, I want my feet firmly planted on English ground.
I called the airline when six o’clock hit and the only assurance that I could get was that if we came early enough, we might be able to take the flight to London on a standby ticket. I thanked the attendant before I hung up and took a quick shower. When I got out, Harry was sitting up in bed with one hand over his chest and examining the other. His hair was all over and there was the lightest hint of a mustache that looked as if he would have a goatee if the hair grew at all, or if he would let it. I moved making my presence in the room known causing him to look my way, taking a quick deep breath of what seemed to be relief.
“Morning. Did you sleep on your arm again? What’s wrong with your hand?” I spoke, smiling at him as I remembered the text that he sneakily sent to my dad. His hand rubbed over his sleepy eyes before he spoke a groggily.
“It, I was— Nothing. Nothing’s wrong with it. G’morning.”
H. stood from the bed, unfortunately pulling the sheets around his naked waste before he made his way over to me. He kissed me briefly before pulling away, securing the cover around his waist before running his hand through his hair. I wanted to mention the text message, but I’m not sure that its anything that he wanted me to find out about. I couldn’t stop the grin on my face as I looked at him, silently admiring.
“What’s up with you?”
“What do you mean?” I spoke moving to the bag that I had and taking out my clothes for the flight before moving Harry’s bag out of the middle of the floor where he left it.
“This face you’re making at me. What is it?” H. gestured towards me, flopping back down on the bed while looking at me and mimicking my expression.
“This is how I always look at you?” I grinned harder, brushing it off as I casually allowed the towel that was around me fall to the ground while I began to change my clothes. I no longer felt the need to hide in front of Harry. I was completely comfortable, and that feeling alone made me proud of myself.
His eyes left mine briefly, shamelessly taking me in as I pulled on my underwear. I lifted the straps of my bra on my shoulders and Harry stood, grabbing my wrists and holding them to my sides. His fingers ghosted along my skin and it gave me chills. I’m sure that Harry will be the only man that my body reacts to this way in my life. I respond to him fully, mind, body, and soul.
His fingers went from my wrists to my hips and then slowly up my back before he placed a kiss to my shoulder, grasping the clasps of my bra before hooking them for me. I exhaled an unsteady breath before I turned my head to thank him. Harry nodded and stepped away from me go shower. Just as he was walking away, my phone rang showing a smiling picture of my father. I was skeptical to answer, but my fingers ignored my brain and hit the talk button.
“Reagan, just listen to me please?” My mouth shut as I sat on the bed and looked at our bags and then the clock on the desk. If we don’t hurry, we won’t get back to London until late.
“I know that you’re a grown woman…” My dad trailed off taking a deep breath before continuing, “but to me, you’ll always be my little girl. No matter how old you get, where you go, or how successful you become in life, to me you’ll always be my baby girl. My only child…” My dad choked up. I could hear it in his voice, and since he didn’t do if often in front of me, if at all, I couldn’t help but feel guilty for leaving. My eyes stung and my throat felt as if it were beginning to close, but I stayed silent and allowed him to finish. “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry that I didn’t try harder. I’m sorry that I didn’t listen. I’m sorry that I haven’t been there as much for you as I should have and I’m happy for you. I’m happy that you’ve got someone who was there for you when I failed to be.”
My dad cried on the phone line and I proceeded to bite my lip until it turned white from the pressure. My heart felt as if it could burst. I’m sure that I haven’t felt this happy in a long time.
“You’ve never failed me and I can’t tell you how much what you’re saying means to me. I know I don’t show it a lot and I still do things my own stubborn way, but your approval is still something that I would always want.” I could hear the shower stop in the background as my dad continued to sniff on the line. I could almost see him wipe his tears on his shirt sleeve.
“Tell Harry that I’m sorry. I know it probably won’t do much good after what I said and did to him, I know he’s bipolar and all, but please let him know that from the bottom of my heart I’m sorry.”
“He’ll be happy to know that you approve him. All he wanted from you was that.” I feel that all that Harry want’s from the world is to be approved and accepted, though he’ll never say it. “Dad, I’ve got to go. I’m going back today.”
“So soon? Your mom would want to see you off and you know I would too.”
“We’re basically already at the airport. We stayed at the Hilton right next door. It’s something that I need to do. Not just for school, but for myself. I’ll be back soon enough.”
“You applied to schools there.” My dad spoke leaving me speechless. I hadn’t said anything to him or my mom about it. “Your emails were open when I had your computer. Sorry again.” My dad chuckled nervously filling in the silence of my shock and wondering how he knew.
“Dad, I don’t—”
“You don’t have to explain anything to me about it, as long as you’re doing it for the right reasons. Keep your focus no matter what happens, pumpkin. Your mother agrees. England was your dream.”
“It still is.”
“Then don’t let anyone take it from you.”
I smiled while running my hand through my hair, looking at Harry as he stepped out of the bathroom fully clothed. his hair was still wet, but it was in a ponytail, pulled away from his face. I’ve never seen him wear his hair this way and to say that it was a distraction was speaking mildly.
“I’ve really got to go now dad. I love you and tell mom the same for me. I’ll call you before we board.”
I hung up the phone and looked at H. as he picked his bag up off of the floor and put the strap over his shoulder. There was a slight smirk on his face before he grabbed my bag as well, carrying it in his hand.
“Are you ready?”
The simple question held so much weight to it, but I smiled at Harry and grabbed his free hand before leaning up on my tip toes to kiss his lips.
“I am now.”
“That was really corny, glasses.” Harry spoke with a serious look on his face before closing the door to the room behind us. I pulled the hair tie out of his hair causing him to pout as his hair fell over his eyes.
We’d made to the airport and went through security before sitting at the terminal gates for hours on end. looking at each others phones to pull up any and every Netflix video, funny vines, or youtube streams that would keep us entertained, but through everything Harry seemed distant and distracted. It very well could have been that he was just anxious to get back home, but something told me that it had something to do with the way that he woke up this morning.
He checked his watch for the twentieth time today before sighing.
“We won’t get back until midnight at this rate. We might as well have kept the tickets that we had if we wee going to be here this long.”
“It’s only twelve in the afternoon. Patience is a virtue—”
“That I don’t have!” Harry snarled running his hand through his wild hair. “Sorry. I just want to get home.”
“I know, baby.” I cooed to him, rubbing his arm to try to calm him down. “Are you going to tell me what you dreamed last night that scared you half to death when you woke up this morning?”
Harry’s eyes widened.
“I can’t hide anything from you, can I?” His question was more of a statement.
“I don’t see why you’d want to. We’re supposed to be open with each other. Tell me.”
Harry took a deep breath before he closed his eyes, leaning his head against the cool panoramic window that gave us a view of where the plane docs after it lands.
“We’ll talk about it later.”
I nodded my head in agreement and listened closely to the next flight to London that was called over the loudspeaker. Harry’s eyes darted towards mine as he did the same and as he looked at me a grin began to creep on his lips. He closed his eyes again, turning back to look out the window, not expecting to hear our names called, but almost jumped out of his seat when the both of our names were called to see if we wanted to take the two vacant seats that the plane had to offer.
We picked up our bags and boarded to find out that the seats weren’t next to each other.
“Harry,it’s the only way that we can get back and at least get there by ten.”
“I want to sit with you. I’m not gonna sit on a ten hour flight sitting next to some stranger knowing that I could be sitting with you.” Harry almost pouted and I would be lying if I didn’t say that it was one of the cutest things ever.
“It’s either this or wait for the next flight and only God knows how long that’ll be. It’s only five rows.” I chuckled at him and talked through my smile. Harry didn’t see what was so funny about the situation so my smile only made him frown more. The flight attendant looked at us, silently asking if we were going to sit the fuck down without saying a word, not that he had to ask anything, it was in his face.
Harry mumbled something before walking to the row closest to the tail end of the plane and plopping down in his seat, agitated. I saw him take two of his pills to calm himself for the trip, but as soon as he sat, I sent him a message scolding him about abusing his medication.
To: Harry Pleassssse?!
You know that one of those is more than enough! I’m starting to think that you’re addicted.
From: Harry Pleassssse?!
Don’t scold me while you’re 5 rows in front of me! Say it to my face...bitch.
From: Harry Pleassssse?!
From: Harry Pleassssse?!
You’re not a bitch. I love you and I miss you.
From: Harry Pleassssse?!
Why did you have to be all the way up there?
From: Harry Pleassssse?!
I wanted to be part of the mile high club. Or maybe at least get a blowjob?
I chuckled at his sudden playful mood shift and when I looked back at him, he was literally pouting, his bottom lip protruding past his top, but the best part about it was that he didn’t notice that I was looking back at him. He put his phone in his lap and leaned back into his chair as the woman who had the window seat next to him squeezed past to get in. Harry’s pout turned into a frown.
I turned back around, laughing to myself and before I knew it, the flight attendant was speaking and pointing out the safety exits on the plane and asking us to turn off our phones for take off.
The first hour went by quickly as I watched the first episode of American Horror Story on my iPad. Harry stood to go to the bathroom a few times, and it made me worried about him. I’d never flown anywhere with him before and I didn’t know how well he handled flights, but if he did have a problem he covered it up by being playful and bumping into me on purpose or pulling my hair as he passed my seat. I would continue to watch him every so often, looking back at him when he didn’t notice, and there were very few times when his brow wasn’t furrowed.
H sat with his Beats over his ears and a his eyes closed, but I know he wasn’t sleeping. If anything, it was to deter the woman who sat next to him from feeling like she could talk to him. His eyes opened suddenly and I could see him look out the window closest to him. He seemed to look pale, but when his eyes shot in my direction he smiled at me, catching me staring at him as he settled back into his seat.
I had fallen asleep several times, but now that we were somewhere around hour six or seven and well over the Atlantic Ocean I began to feel restless and ache in certain places. My neck hurt, along with my back, and my bum. No matter how comfortable the seats are supposed to be, they will never be okay for a ten hour flight. I tried to nuzzle and get comfortable again, but when I felt a light tap on my shoulder my eyes shot open.
It was the woman who was seated next to Harry and a flight attendant.
“Ms. Stoger?” the flight attendant whispered due to it being dark outside along with many of the people on the plane being asleep or in some kind of state of relaxation. I however immediately stiffened.
“This woman is offering to trade seats with you—”
“He’s having a really tough time back there.” The woman who was seated next to Harry cut in, speaking sympathetically. “He seems scared and asked for you.”
I nodded and stood quickly grabbing my book bag from the overhead compartment as I thanked the lady quietly. I followed behind the flight attendant as we approached another. She was kneeling next to Harry’s seat, talking to him in a hushed tone so that she wouldn’t disturb the other passengers. The small dim overhead light was on allowing me to see a bit better as I got closer. Harry’s eyes were wide and his forehead seemed to glisten due to the light sweat sheen that covered it. His breathing wasn’t right, but when his eyes landed on me he seemed to calm himself minimally, while releasing an unsteady breath.
The flight attendant that kneeled next to him stood to her feet and removed the bottle of water that she had there for Harry to drink so that I could get past the tray without knocking anything over.
As soon as I sat down Harry’s eyes met mine and I could see the wild, startled look. His breathing was still labored, but I could tell that he was getting it under control. His hand grasped for mine as it rested in my lap and I could hear him take another deep breath as he slowly closed his eyes.
“Will you be alright?” One of the attendants asked looking at Harry and I skeptically.
“Yes, it’s okay I’ve got him. Thank you.”
“We’re going to keep an eye out until we land.” The attendant who was kneeled next to Harry spoke as she worriedly looked between the two of us.
I nodded my head, my eyes never leaving Harry’s face as I looked at him with concern. When the attendants left, his eyes slowly opened again.
“Are you okay? What happened?” I whispered while running my hand through his hair and then resting it against the clammy skin on his face, trying to aid in settling him down however I could.
Harry blinked a few times in a row, removing his hand from being entangled in mine in my lap to cover the hand that I had on his face.
“It was worse. God, it was worse.” He rushed his words as he whispered making it difficult to understand.
“What was worse? Harry talk to me.”
“The dream was worse. I had it before but it was so much worse this time. Reagan I don’t want to have that dream anymore. No more.” He shook his head frantically and spoke quickly, taking another deep breath before he removed my hand from his face, kissing my fingertips before he interlocked them again tightly.
“What was it this time? Have you told me about it before?” My heart ached for him. I know it’s because of the pictures that he saw not two days ago. I know that my dad apologized and I accept it, but it’s when things like this happen that it makes me upset all over again.
“No.” Harry whispered, shuddering after he spoke.
“Tell me about this one, baby.”
Harry dropped his head allowing his hair to fall in his face while shaking his head no. I squeezed his hand that was in my lap before I brought it to my lips to kiss every knuckle.
“Harry, look at me.”
His eyes danced around and he squeezed them shut, shaking his head no once more.
“Harry,” my hand cupped his cheek again, forcing him to look at me. His eyes were red and watery and he bit his lip. There was a long pause between us before I spoke, “let me help you like you help me? I love you and nothing that you say will scare me away.” A single tear spilled from Harry’s unblinking eyes as he exhaled. His warm breath hit my face, but he nodded his head in agreement.
“In the last few dreams I’ve had for a while now...Clive wasn’t there. He’s not in them...”
My eyes stayed on his face the entire time, my heart felt as if it were splitting in two as I found the words to get him to continue.
“Who's there then?”
Harry drops his head again and his shoulders shake as sobs begin to rake his body. I’ve never seen his dreams leave him this terrified before and when he speaks again, his voice cracks, but I can still make out what he says.
HIIIIII! Oh My Goodness My loves hello! How are all of you? I am so sorry for the exceptionally long wait, but I've had terrible writers block along with wanting these last few chapters to be perfect for you all. This chapter is long to hopefully make up for my shitty absence. What did you all think of this chapter? (if you're still reading that is? ITS BEEN SO LONG! but hopefully the story is fireproof? Did you catch that corny reference? No? Sorry lol) What did you all think of Reagan's dad's apology? AND is Reagan like the worst friend ever for not saying bye to Channel? lol London is here and there are so many things to fit into the next 3 to 5 chapters that I have left, but it will get done. Please leave me tons of comments because I'm desperate to see what you all think of this chapter! I'm going to be replying to them as soon as they roll in because I miss you all so much! Also, please vote if you're reading and have not gotten the chance to do so yet? I LOVE YOU ALL TO BITS FOR READING AND BEING SUCH A WONDERFUL AND FAITHFUL GROUP! I COULD NOT HONESTLY ASK FOR BETTER AND I'M PRETTY SURE I HAVE THE BEST ON THE SITE~xx