“Wait!” I softly yelled, grabbing Liam’s shoulder before he entered Harry’s house. He turned around and faced me expectantly.
“I have a massive…really big favour to ask, and I totally understand if you don’t want to help…” I trailed off, not entirely sure what to say next. Liam urged me to continue but I found it difficult to admit my true feelings looking into Liam’s eyes. Staring at a point just above his hand, I slowly started speaking again.
“I’m sure you know by now that Harry is my best friend?” It was a statement that came out as a question, betraying my lack of confidence. Liam nodded.
“Anyway, he’s been acting really distant lately and I just…I just don’t know why and I really need to talk to him, but it’s so difficult when you guys are around… I mean, I love you guys! Don’t think I don’t want you here but I just-”
Interrupting me, Liam placed a warm hand on my cardigan covered shoulder. I swallowed my words and met his eyes.
“I understand. You want me to distract the others so you and Harry have a chance to talk to each other?”
A sigh a relief escaped my mouth and I briefly wondered what I had done right in my life to meet such an amazing, understanding young man. Nodding enthusiastically, I answered his question wordlessly. I reached up and folded my arms around him, giving him a hug. Keeping my arms around him, I leaned back and looked into his entrancing eyes that seemed to exude so much warmth.
We stood in that position for awhile, simply staring at each other. The crickets were chirping in the background and a dark black car drove past us, yet we still remained in our embrace. Finally, plucking up the courage and ignoring my over-analysing brain, I leaned up slowly. Liam apparently appeared to be thinking the same and he leaned down towards me. Both our eyes closed in the process.
The kiss was soft and delicate. Not loaded with any heavy promises, it was merely an embrace between two young teenagers. His luscious lips pulled away from mine all too soon and he pecked my cheek lightly, smiling a beautiful smile that reached his chocolate orbs. I kept my eyes closed, memorising the moment before finally pulling away.
We walked inside.
I think it was at that moment that I realised just how great Liam was at executing plans. Within approximately ten minutes, he had Zayn, Niall and Louis herded up and standing at the front of the house.
“Seriously guys, this ice cream shop is the best!” He exclaimed, winking at me.
“What about Harry?” Louis piped up, glancing around at the group. At that moment, Harry walked out of the bathroom.
“Harry has arrived. What’s going on?” He casually asked, strolling towards us. Looking towards Liam, I mentally asked what to do.
“The guys are going down to the ice cream shop we just went to. Liam loved it,” I chuckled.
“You coming, Harry?” Zayn probed. I could’ve strangled him at that moment, but I plastered a smile on my face. Harry looked towards me.
“Uh, are you…?” I shook my head. “Well, I’ve been down there about seventy billion times, so I think I’ll pass this time. Have fun though, I’ll see you soon, yeah?” The boys farewelled us before leaving, Liam smiling triumphantly. I made a mental note to make more scheming plans with him in the future.
Grabbing Harry’s hand and one of the boys’ jackets that were strewn across the sofa, I went outside and seated myself on the mahogany lounge chair that I had vacated earlier in the day. The clear bowl that was once filled to the brim with strawberries now lay empty and discarded on the grassy floor. I pulled Harry down onto the seat, folding my legs so that he had enough room to face me. He smiled.
“Tell me about your…date with Liam!” His laughter was a joyous sound, one I had missed profusely over the past few days. The little moments, they always meant the most. So tempted to pretend nothing had gone wrong over the past few days, I was about to go off on a spiel about Liam, but I managed to stop myself, shaking my head in the process.
“That doesn’t work on me, Harry. So, you have to tell me, what’s up?”
Harry shook his head.
“You didn’t honestly believe that I had no idea what your little plan with Liam was? I knew you schemed it up to get some time with me,” he stated. I blushed and looked down. He always knew me so well.
“Yeah, whatever. The point is, we’re here now, so tell me. You have ages until they get back. Go!” I poked him to emphasize the urgency behind my plea. He sighed.
“Nothing’s wrong,” he said, sighing once more. I eyed him heavily, unblinkingly.
“I’m just… uh, tired and that.”
“Harry Edward Styles, you are my best friend. Do you honestly think I’m going to fall for that lame excuse?” My tone was firm and Harry seemed to sense that. He shifted uncomfortably in his seat. I felt my phone buzz in my pocket and I quickly whipped it out, seeing Liam’s name.
Text me when ur done with Harry. No rush, take ur time. Just lemme kno so I can bring the boys back. :)
I put the phone away.
“Who was it?”
“Liam, just letting me know when… er, I mean, what flavour he was getting because we had a bit of a joke about that up there when we went before,” I replied. “Anyway, what’s up, honestly, tell me?”
“Well, it’s exactly that,” he mentioned, gesturing towards my now invisible phone.
“Liam?” I asked, astonished by his response. “Why? You were so happy for me on the bus last week?” Harry’s eyes dipped and he watched his hands, twisting in apparent nervousness.
“I’m jealous,” he finally resigned.
“Jealous? What the fuck? Why?”
“Because, he so easily has your attention. He can make you smile without hesitation, you find him interesting! I saw you the other day, when he assured you that everything would be fine on the balcony. He so easily comforted you. And just now, today, whenever you were with him, you glowed!” Harry groaned, running his hands through his hair. My eyebrows furrowed together.
“Harry, you’re my best friend. I love you more than anything and you can do all those things so easily too!” I tried to reassure him, but my brain was going haywire. He’d never had any of these worries or niggling doubts with any of my other potential boyfriends.
He continued to stare at the ground, unable to get the words out. Finally, when he had plucked up the courage, he continued.
“Scar, I’m scared. I’m scared you’re going to fall in love with him and abandon me. I’m scared that you’ll love him more than me,” he choked out, his voice muffled from the arms holding up his head.
I didn’t know what to say. I was overcome with love as he said those words.
“Harry,” I said, lifting his head up so our eyes met, “you’re my best friend. You will, forever, be my best friend. No boy will come in between that because I love you more than anything. You’re family.”
“I know,” he replied. “But what about when you go into a serious relationship with him? This is the first guy that you’ve liked with who I’m confident you will last…that’s what scares me. I’m going to come second, Scar. You’re going to forget about me!”
I laughed, which later I realised was a tad inappropriate.
“Harry, you are my brother. I love you to death and I promise, right here and right now, that I will let nothing come between us. All our phone conversations, all our secret spots like that café we discovered, all our jokes, they’re ours, Harry. Nobody can take that away from us…I love you.” I finished my mini speech and launched myself at him. Forcing his arms open, I sat down on top of him, wrapping his arms around my body. He held me tightly despite any worries or doubts that still plagued his mind.
I hugged him as closely as I could, wordlessly conveying how much he meant to me. I felt him whisper into my hair.
“Promise me that you’ll never forget me…” he said.
“I promise.” My eyes closed, I let my body language do the talking. I knew that his worries were legit because even I could feel a long term relationship blooming with Liam. But I knew that Harry would always be my best friend, no matter what. He would always be there for me.
We sat there for a few moments, before shifting to a slightly more comfortable position on the hard wooden seat. Side by side, we lay there, his arm wrapped around my shoulders and we watched the stars. Eventually I fell asleep, comfortable in his friendly embrace.
When I woke half an hour later, I was still in the same position, however Harry was talking. I wondered who he was talking to but didn’t have the energy to sit up.
“Well, yeah, chocolate ice cream is good, I guess. Cookies and cream though, drool.” Harry’s reasoning voice alerted me that he was debating a topic with someone. I gathered from the ice cream flavour talk that it was about ice cream. Ice cream was what Liam was getting right now.
“Oh shit!” I cried, jumping up. Harry looked at me, questioning me with his eyes with a bemused expression on his face. I failed to notice the other guys seated around him. “I forgot to text Liam!”
“Relax Scar, I already texted him and told him to come back. You honestly thought that I wouldn’t see through your lies?” He chuckled and I punched him lightly in the arm, smiling and laying back once more.
“Good morning, Scarlett. Sleep well?” Louis sarcastically laughed. Closing my eyes, I stuck my finger up at him. I felt Harry shift from underneath me and my right side was soon exposed to the cool evening breeze. I briefly considered opening my eyes to see what was going on, but then my lack of energy dictated that I wouldn’t be able to stay awake if I did that. I opted to just assume he had gone to the toilet or something. A few moments later, another warm body pressed against me and an arm slithered around me. The musky scent alerted me to Liam’s body. Subconsciously, I smiled.
“Liam and Scarlett, sitting in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G,” Louis chanted in a sing song voice. Ignoring my exhaustion, I sat up and stuck both my rude fingers up at him, smiling. Liam seemed to have other ideas though and he pulled me down on top of him, capturing my lips in his.
Louis and Zayn started wolf whistling loudly and I felt Liam’s large hand rest itself comfortably on my lower back. The kisses were still light and still void of any promises. I smiled against his soft lips, off in my own little world.
“Knock is off guys! That’s disgusting!” Harry bellowed from across the yard, where he was turning off all the lights.
“Sorry mate, I just can’t keep myself off her,” Liam cheekily replied, pecking me again. The boys laughed at my blushing cheeks. Nestling myself against his sculpted body, I allowed the warmth to flow through me.
Harry returned and the six of us lay there for a number of hours, enjoying each others’ company and the darkness of the sky. It was a peaceful end to an eventful day.