It Takes Patience III: Stripped
Chapter 52: Where There's None Left...
“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. “Robin.”
I lifted the arm rest that kept us apart, wrapping Harry in my arms and pulling him close to me.
I couldn’t speak.
Not a syllable was formed and anytime that I thought that I would be able to even mumble a word of comfort to draw him from this petrified state, shock and bewilderment would curb my tongue. I could feel my chest tighten and it made it that much harder to breathe as everything that Harry had said pertaining to he and Robin’s relationship began to fall into place.
“Why do you treat him that way? He wants the best for you, Gemma, and your mom.”
“You don’t understand.”
“Then help me to! Do you see how upset he gets when you push him away? Him and your mom try so hard for you, but you won’t allow it. The way you treat them, the way you treat Robin isn’t fair, H! If he’s been in your life for this long and you don’t get that feeling you did with, Clive” Harry’s eyebrows narrowed at the mention of the name and it brought a sick feeling to my stomach to make me think that one person could cause so much pain and suffering, “then why don’t you treat him with the respect you know that he deserves. He loves you. With all of his heart, he loves you. Unconditionally, he loves you—”
“I’ve told you that I love him before, but—”
“But what? And don’t give me that it’s safer for me to love him at a distance bullshit Harry, because that’s all it is.”
My harsh words to Harry echoed in my ears, taunting and belittling me for not seeing what was so clear in front of me all this time. H. stilled in my arms, covering his eyes and half of his face with one of his hands before he used it to wipe his eyes of the tears that spilled from them. They continued to fall though his sobs stopped and as I ran my fingers through his hair as a means to calm him, I could see the red rim of his puffy eyes, begging for a slumber that they wouldn’t receive tonight.
The silence that settled over the remainder of our flight was open ended. Nothing more was said on the matter, but both of us knew that it had to be discussed further than the revelation that was made. I knew that it wouldn’t be easy, but I also knew that this could be the source of a final breakthrough that Harry needed to reach in order to have peace of mind with what happened only two short years ago. I wouldn’t give up. No matter what it takes, I refuse to give up on him. I reached above me to turn off the overhead lights when Harry broke the silence.
“What are you doing?” He spoke at barely a whisper and raspier than I was used to. His voice was clearly shot from the tears and time passed without speaking, but he didn’t look at me when he asked me about my movements. His head was positioned on my chest so that when I looked down, all that I could see was his beautiful strands of hair.
“I was going to turn off the lights.”
“Don’t! I mean….Leave them on. Please?”
I nodded my head even though I knew that he wasn’t aware of my actions and I planted a kiss to his scalp. Harry sighed in relief at my decision to acknowledge his plea without speaking on it as I took the blanket that the stewardess handed me to cover us both in an attempt to make him as comfortable as I could. Keeping her promise to keep an eye out for Harry and I, the stewardess brought us waters and asked me if Harry was alright in the most hushed tone that she could muster, surely thinking that Harry was asleep by now, though that was the farthest from the truth. I told her that he was fine and just a bad flier, but to know why he truly suffered continued to make my heart fall to my stomach.
I knew England was near when I noticed that the moon and the overhead torch weren’t the only forms of light that shined around us. When I looked out the window, I could see the cities beneath us, glittering like tiny candles lit thousands of miles away when the pilot spoke over the intercom. Somehow the two hours that we had left quickly turned into thirty minutes before we would land. Time moved quickly and I could feel my trademark, nervous, sweaty palms. In order to distract myself, I turned my attention on H.
He’d since sat up from my chest with his eyes puffy and dark, avoiding my gaze at all costs. I know that he hates to cry. More than anything, he hates to cry in front of other people. I tried to get a better look at him, but he must have know that was my angle. Every time I bent forward to see him, it seemed that he shifted his body more to move away from me.
Once we landed and approached the terminal, Harry quickly stood, grabbing my bag from underneath my seat before he took his from the overhead storage. He stepped out of the way so that I could get out of the row and as we walked off the plane his hand went to the small of my back, gently guiding me to the doors. I hadn’t asked him who would be here to pick us up, but when I saw two blonde’s at the gate my question was answered without even having to be voiced.
Laurie ran up to me, engulfing me in a hug and my arms wrapped around hers just as quickly.
“Rea! How are you? I’ve missed you so much!”
“I’m...good.” My voice trailed out as I came to realization with my words. It hit me like a ton of bricks “I’m good.” I repeated myself as the feeling resonated through me. I was good and for the first time in a long time, I felt myself take a breath of fresh air from what had been polluted for so long. I would be okay. And though everything isn’t going to be smooth sailing by a long shot, I finally felt as if I was seeing even a glimmer of a light through the clouded overcast.My arms tightened around Laurie as we began to walk towards the exit, but I slowed when I realized how far ahead we were of the boys.
“Come on you slugs! I know you both must want to get home by now after such a long journey. Harry looks exhausted.”
I nodded my head to Laurie’s correct assumption, but when my eyes landed on H. and my heart again felt heavy. The light within my hazel eyes met with what now seemed to be grey instead of the green that captivated me before I even knew his name. I let Laurie go, stopping to wait for Harry and Niall to reach us. When they did, Harry continued to walk past me, grabbing my hand only long enough to get me to face forward and continue walking. Niall slipped his arm around my shoulder. Something he hasn’t done since I’ve known him.
“Hey. How are you?” He spoke lowly, sure that Harry couldn’t hear. It wasn’t that he was suspicious of what was being said, however. He never turned his head to look back.
“I’m better. There’s still things that need to be fixed, but I feel better.”
Niall nodded in understanding before he sighed and scratched the back of his neck with his free hand. “And you two?”
“Harry doesn’t seem—”
“He’s just tired. He’ll be okay once he gets some sleep.” I spoke quickly hoping that my statement was true. He’s exhausted more mentally than anything else. Once he talks to me and opens up more about what these dreams have been about, he’ll have the piece that deserves.
Niall sighed again and I could tell it was because he thought I was lying. I gave him a lazy grin that he returned when we reached the car.
Harry and I sat in the backseat, his weary eyes still blank and staring out the front windshield at nothing in particular. When Niall pulled his car out of the light of pick up area into the darkened streets ahead, I could see Harry’s eyes squeeze shut quickly and his breathing accelerate before I grabbed his hand in my lap. His eyes met my own briefly before they went back out of the window, monitoring the streetlights we passed in order to keep his new aversion for the dark under wraps. As deep breaths replaced shallow ones, I traced the words I love you onto the back of his tattooed hand as his it sat limply on my leg. He didn’t look at me, but a spark of hope got my heart to palpitate faster in my chest when he grasped my thigh. His fingers gently caressed and kneaded me gently over the cotton of my jeans as if I were the one who should be comforted.
My concentration was broken as I continued the conversation that I was having with Laurie. She wasted no time asking the hard hitting questions right away.
“Does Dr. Koch know you’re back?”
I could feel Harry’s hand tighten on my leg again. His grip was really tight and it kind of hurt, whether he knew it or not.
“No. I don’t think he does. I haven’t gotten in contact with him to let him know I was coming back sooner than expected. I guess I should pay him a visit tomorrow. We have a lot to discuss....” I trailed off of my sentence as I felt my blood begin to boil. I could also see the frown that appeared on Harry’s face at just the mention of Dr. Koch’s name.
Comfortable conversation was exchanged between Niall, Laurie, and I. Though I was happy to see the two of them again, a major part of me couldn’t wait to be away from them so that Harry and I could talk. Whether it be tonight or tomorrow, he needed to get this off of his chest so that we could figure out what could be done to end the torment that he’s been putting himself through. His head lolled to the side, looking out the window as we slowly approached his house. I could hear him release a deep breath as he reached for both of our bags to carry and clasped Niall on the shoulder, thanking him for picking us up.
I lazily slid across the back seat, intending to get out of the same door that Harry did. When I stepped out of the car, I lost my footing against the curb only to have Harry catch me before I fell.
“So fucking clumsy.” Harry spoke solemnly before the slightest of grins appeared on his lips. It stayed there long enough for me to return the gesture, but then quickly began to falter, falling behind the grey of his eyes that used to be green.
I watched Harry fumble with the keys on the poorly lit doorstep before I grabbed them out of his hands, subconsciously knowing the exact one that would get the door to unlock from watching Harry do it so many times before. When the door opened, the foyer was dark. I tried to walk inside first, to turn a light on for Harry, but he gently pushed me aside as if something were wrong. His eyes darted back and forth and as soon as he flipped on the light switch, his mother, Gemma, Anne,and Tamsin stood with a small banner over their heads that read, Welcome Home. Harry’s eyes widened as his mom came over, hugging me first.
“Welcome home sweetheart.” Anne whispered into my ear causing my arms to tighten around her. She’s always been sweet and understanding, but what I wasn’t expecting was the welcome I got from Gemma.
Her arms were crossed when she approached me and her bottom lip which resembled that of her baby brother’s was pulled between her teeth. My eyes flickered over to Harry and his were on his sister as he rested his chin against his mom’s shoulder while he returned her hug fully, something I hadn’t really seen him do since I’ve known him. I was nervous as to what Gemma was going to say. I know that she hasn’t been thrilled with mine and Harry’s relationship or me for that matter, since I’ve been back. I rubbed my hands over the jean material of my pants before I was pulled into a warm embrace.
Her arms wrapped around my back and mine around hers. Before she pulled away, I could see Harry relax in his mother’s arms and perhaps even sigh in relief at the way his sister genuinely hugged me. When she let me go, the same dot that appears in her brothers cheek appeared in her own as she nodded her head in what I felt to be approval. Tamsin stood still in her spot, not bothering to acknowledge my presents, but instead kept her eyes on Harry, however it was almost as if he didn’t see her at all. Anne had finally let H. go so that Gemma could give him a hug, whispering something in his ear that brought the slightest of uneasy smiles to his face. When she let him go and began to walk towards the door, Tamsin took a step in his direction, only to be stopped by me.
I intercepted her path, surprising myself as I did so, embracing her in what I hoped to look like a normal hug. There are a few people who I’d told myself that I would have words with and she was definitely one of them.
I’ve honestly had enough.
My arms wrapped around her back as I pulled her towards me, causing her two inches or so in height difference to bend so that I was sure that her ear was by my lips. When I spoke to her, it was almost as if I were having an out of body experience. The flight had thrown me off a bit, I was tired and a bit hungry, but if there was anything that I was more of other than those two things, it would be annoyed and pissed off at the sheer amount of disrespect the girl had whether her feelings were in the way or not.
“When I let you go, keep walking, Tamsin. If I see you so much as look in his direction I will make you regret it so highly that you won’t even be able to comprehend what’s going on. He doesn’t want you. Why won’t you leave him alone?”
I could feel her chuckle against my shoulder as her hand began to rub my back up and down. Tamsin turned her head by the crook of my neck nestling it by my ear. I could only imagine what was going through Harry’s mind, but this time, it wasn’t me that he had to be concerned for.
“We’ll let him decide what he wants and doesn’t want sweetheart, because when you’re gone and I’m here, he seems to not be so sure of the love that you’re fighting to hold onto.”
My jaw clenched so tight that I’m sure that my teeth were grinding. There’s so much that I want to do to this girl, but it would be unladylike to address it the way that I want to, clumps of her hair in my hands, and her blood on my knuckles from knocking the very little sense that God gave her right out of that pretty little head of hers.
“I don’t know why you think this is a joke, bitch, but please, try it.”
Tamsin chuckled again leaving me shaking with anger before she played with strands of my hair, taking it in her hands and letting it fall down past my shoulders again.
“Little girls always resort to swearing when they know deep down that they have nothing else left. Good to know you’re back, love. That way you’ll see first hand what I’ve known for some time now. His supposed love for you isn’t as strong as you think it is.”
Tamsin kissed my cheek before she let me go. Stopping in her tracks before walking past Harry and looking back at me with a smirk on her face.
“What was that about?” Harry spoke while shifting the weight on his feet with our bags securely gripped in his hands.
“Nothing, really. I was just telling her that I don’t generally share things that are mine.”
“You know what I meant.” Harry quickly raised an eyebrow before he spoke again, all in a very monotone voice.
“You should go to bed. I know you’re tired and the only good thing about the flight that we had is that it got us here at night so nothing should be that thrown off as far as timing and jet lag.”
“Harry, we need to-”
“I’ll be up in a second. I’m just gonna shower first….We can talk about it tomorrow. I know that you—that we, need to talk about it….Just not now, okay?”
I nodded, happy knowing that he wants to acknowledge the problem, taking that as the first step to put it behind him. I kissed his cheek before I took our bags out of his hands, heading upstairs for his room.
The water ran cold as I stepped in and I did nothing to change it. My eyes were heavy and I needed to wake up.
I can’t sleep. Not now.
My mind began to race as the streams that came from the shower head hit my skin like rain in the winter, but I didn't flinch. It's almost matching the temperature that my blood ran I’m sure. I closed my eyes tightly as I tried to manage my own thoughts, but the light in the room danced on the inside of my lids, distracting me from what I needed to do.
Taking a deep breath, I snapped my eyes open before I pulled the shower curtain back. When I stepped out of the shower and over to the light switch to turn it off, my heartbeat began to escalate again. In the dark I could see it. I didn't need to be asleep anymore and that scared me more than anything. The scene unfolded in front of me like it had many times before in my dreams. I could barely breathe, but I have to be able to push through it in order to be rid of it.
It’s not real. It won’t happen again. I love Robin.
My finger stayed close to the light switch as I allowed what I see in my nightmares play out in my head. I saw him and it was almost as if I could feel his pulse get weaker with every single blow that I gave. My fingers twitched near the light switch as the shower water continued to run in the background, the only noise reminding me that my worst fear wasn’t reality.
My eyes squeezed shut again as I swallowed deeply. It was over. He’d stopped moving and I know that this is the point in the dream that Robin is gone. I can almost see myself stand above the body, dropping the broken vase on the ground that at one point was used against the man who was the reason for most of my suffering in the first place. In my vision, I can see the hollowed version of myself. His back is to me, but I can still see the blood on his hands from taking Robin's life. His head turns giving me a side profile, but before I can see the satisfied look on what is essentially my face, I give into my fear and turn the lights on quickly.
My back rests against the wall in defeat and when I make eye contact with myself in the mirror, the light green is replaced with dark, blown out pupils. Though I don't want to I internally I admit the truth. I’m a damn near twenty year old who’s afraid of the dark and everything that it brings.
Especially since I'll never be able to escape it.
Reagan sits with her back against my headboard and I can see that our bags are already unpacked and put away, by her doing no doubt. There’s a slight grin on her beautiful lips as she watches me cross the room to slip on a pair of boxers before I get into bed with her.
“Hey.” I respond, barely able to return her glance.
“How was your shower?”
“Good.” I lied knowing that I had various answers to that question. None of which I wanted to say out loud. Not yet, not now. Another conversation to be pushed to the side and reinvestigated later at a time that I deemed more appropriate.
I pulled Reagan to my side, where she seemed to fit perfectly before I changed the subject.
“How do you feel about this? Being back I mean.”
“I thought it would be odd to say this, but I’m happy that I’m back. The apprehension that I felt. It’s not the same. I'm stronger than I gave myself credit for.”
I grinned before I spoke, but I meant every word that I said
“You're very strong and I envy you because of it. You were just nervous, scared even. But you belong here, love. I’m happy that you’re happy.” I speak as I try to keep my eyes from closing, glad that she hasn’t pushed me to talk about my dream and slight breakdown on the plane.
“I wish that I could say the same for you.” Instead of responding to glasses, I yawned, allowing her to run her hand through my hair.
I could feel myself begin to drift and though I tried to fight it, I failed. I don’t know how long I’d been asleep for before the lights of my bedroom began to dimmer and my nightmare continued almost at the same point it’d left off at. My eyes flew back open and I sat up to find myself on one of my pillows instead of Reagan. I swear that I was lying on her not two seconds ago.
“It’s okay, Harry. I’m not turning them off. Just down a bit.”
She dimmed the lights more, stopping when the room was only illuminated softly, allowing me to see her as she walked back towards my bed. When she crawled back under the covers and closer to me again, her limbs tangled comfortably with mine.
Reagan grinned at me again. Not mocking or judging as my hand cupped the side of her cheek.
“Thank you.” I spoke as My eyelids began to fall heavy again.
“For being a light where there’s none left.”
HIIIIIIIIIIIIII ( I changed the chapter title) !! Ages Ages its been ages! How are you? I'm sorry about the long wait! AND THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR STICKING AROUND AND HELLO TO THE NEW SUBSCRIBERS I SEE :) I know that it's a pain in the ass to wait so long for an author to update. To be honest I've had this chapter done for a while, but I've kind of been doubting myself. I know the ending that I want for the story, but I'm so nervous to get all of you're opinions on it because, It Takes Patience to me, is as much my story as it is yours. I would be so crushed if I didn't give you guys my everything in these last few bits to come or if I disappoint you all and ruin the story all out. With that being said, what did you think of this chapter and what do you think will happen with poor H and Rea? The ending can go two ways really. There is only supposed to be one more chapter after this one and an Epilogue, but I need your honest opinions. Do you feel like the ending would be rushed if I did it that way? Do you want it to go to lets say, 54 or 55 chapters and then an epilogue or do you feel like one more chapter should do it and I just need to be done with the story because I dragged it out too long? (for those of you who feel that way, the last chapter will be really long. I can tie up all my loose ends if I end the story in the next chapter and give you guys an Epilogue but it will just be a really lengthy chapter. Longer than this one. this one is like 7 pages) PLEASE BE HONEST! THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR BEING AMAZING AND STICKING WITH ME THROUGH THIS LONG AND EMOTIONAL PROCESS! I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR READING AND HONESTLY BEING THE BEST GROUP I KNOW ON ANY FANFIC WEBSITE!!!!~ Xx