Chapter sixty nine.
(AN – PLEASE VOTE AND COMMENT)
It’s certainly true when people say time passes much quicker as you get older. It seems like only yesterday I was sitting my exams in school and living at home with Grace and our parents. But actually when I think back to when I arrived back in England in August which was just four months ago I feel like an eternity has passed.
Christmas has come around so quickly and I’m still unaware of what to do over the holidays.
I wonder what my parents are doing, surely mum will cook her amazing roast dinner and dad will tell shitty jokes after one too many whiskeys. While my estranged aunts and uncles’ pop round with cheap, lame and unappealing gifts. Christmas was always a warm time in my house. Sure they’d be drama and bickering but that’s family. That’s Christmas.
The brisk walk home from work is surprisingly refreshing. I decided a walk would do me good and told Simon to talk the day off. I walked to work this morning making sure to wrap up warm in a woollen coat and take a scarf too. As I did so I heard my mother voice telling my teenage self that it’s important to wrap up warm and that of course wearing two jumpers was a sensible choice that wouldn’t make me look fat. Perhaps it was sensible but unnecessary. And it did make me look fat.
The evening air is even colder than the morning, I wouldn’t be surprised if it began snowing any minute now. The sky was dark and filled with dull clouds. I doubt they’d be any stars in the sky tonight, not that I’d seem them due to all the bright city lights.
That’s certainly something I miss a lot, looking up at the sky. Seeing the moon and the stars and even the airplanes always comforted me. I didn’t feel so alone. The sky wasn’t empty so neither was the world.
As I walk into the hotel lobby the warm air hits me and so do all the now familiar faces of the workers here.
“Lis” Louis calls me over to the reception desk.
“Hey you” I smile widely.
“I’ll be finished in like half an hour. Want me to come up to your room?” He asks leaning against the desk casually.
In that moment he look just like he did when we first met, which again was a mere two months ago but feel like a lifetime.
“Of course, I’ll order us Chinese yeah?” I reply.
“Sounds perfect” He grins before ushering me off so he can continue working. He insists he’s very busy. Although I can’t see a single person waiting to be served.
Laughing as he pulls faces at me I disappear into the lift.
When I arrive back in my room I toss my coat, scarf and handbag onto the armchair and rifle through the takeaway menus in the kitchen draw.
Once I’ve ordered our tea I settle down on the sofa and check my phones.
Firstly my work phone, Alex has texted regarding the final meeting tomorrow before we shut for the Christmas holidays.
Its December 21st today.
Next I check my personal phone. Nothing.
Of course they wouldn’t be, the only people who would contact me would be family, friends, Louis or maybe Harry.
Well my family aren’t speaking to me. I’d class Anne, Alan and Gemma as friends but well they haven’t kept in touch anywhere near as much as they’d promised too.
Louis doesn’t need to contact me, he’s only downstairs. Plus he’s working so can’t use his phone.
And well for Harry I don’t expect anything. He didn’t reply to the text I sent him last week. And I guess that’s it for us. I want to be fine with that, but honestly I’m not fine at all.
Harry wrote a fucking book about me. He poured his heart and soul out on every single fucking page. Yet he can’t return a text, he can’t let me talk to him.
I guess that’s it then. Time to get my shit together and be a professional. This book is nothing over than a business matter.
Time to focus on me and Louis. I mean he is my boyfriend now. That’s more than Harry ever was.
More than anyone. I’ve never really let people in, never let them stay.
This could be different, this could be right. I’ve just got to give it a chance.
I’ve got to give Louis a chance.
“Greedy bitch! As if you finished off my noodles” Louis laughed slapping my arm playfully.
“You weren’t going to eat them” I giggled shoving him in response.
“Might have done. But I can’t now” He snapped with an overly dramatic tone in his voice.
“Oh shut up” I laugh leaning against his chest. Settling instantly as I hear his heartbeat and then feel his arm wrap around me.
“Make me” he murmurs against the top of my head.
I push myself up moving onto his lap and wrap my arms around his neck.
Our lips meet slowly and gently, my hands getting lost in Louis hair as my mind gets lost in our kiss.
“What are you doing for Christmas then babe?” Louis asks a few minutes later my head resting on his shoulder with his arms holding me firmly in place.
“I dunno, I guess I’ll just stay in bed all day eating chocolates, drinking wine and then order a take-a-way or something” I laugh lightly.
“Don’t be silly it’s Christmas, you can’t spend Christmas alone” He says running one of his hands through my hair comfortingly.
“Well I certainly can’t fly home and have Christmas with mum and dad can I? They still aren’t speaking to me. Apparently I’m responsible for Grace’s death remember? Which yes I know doesn’t make sense and yes I know they’re the ones in the wrong. As you keep reminding me” I say, my voice comes out quite snappy and cold. It wasn’t intentional.
“I know” Louis says softly, he doesn’t continue the conversation which I’m thankful of. I don’t want to say something I’ll regret.
We spend the rest of the evening cuddling on the sofa and listening to some of Lou’s old records.
Of course we have a bottle of two of wine to accompany us.
With a yawn escaping from my mouth I untangle myself from Louis’ arms and announce I’m ready for bed.
“Ok babe I’ll be through in a second, I’ll just clear up this mess” he says motioning to the empty bottles and Chinese cartons.
“Thank you. Thank you for everything, you’re the best” I smile kissing his lips lightly.
“I’m only cleaning up” He laughs shaking his head at me.
“No everything, being here. Being with me. Everything” I explain before turning and walking into the bedroom. Not giving him chance to respond.
I strip off out of my work clothes and find one of Louis’ t-shirts he’s left here recently picking it up and pulling it over my head. It needs washing but honestly I couldn’t care less.
I pull back the sheets and get into bed.
“Thank you” Louis says walking into the bedroom pulling off his work trousers and white button up shirt.
“Why?” I ask with raised eyebrows.
“For being amazing, stunning, interesting and well the only girl I’ve ever felt was worthy to take home. The only girl I want to introduce to my family as my girlfriend” He said climbing into bed in nothing but his boxers.
“What?” I ask I’m confused. Louis likes me enough to meet his family. Is this just a figure of speech or?
“Come home with me for Christmas. Mum would love to meet you. So would all my sisters and Dan” Louis says with a high level of certainty in his voice.
“Do you not think it’s a bit soon to be spending Christmas together?” I ask with a slight laugh, I guess I’m trying to lighten the mood.
We’ve only know each other for a short fraction of time, spending the holidays together is usually quite a big milestone in a couple’s relationship.
“I don’t think there’s ever a right or wrong time. I think when you know you just know. And well I know Alisa. I know you’re all I want. All I need. The only one I want by my side” Louis says leaning over me his eyes burning directly into mine.
I can’t say anything, even if I managed to come up with a response I doubt I’d be able to say it out loud.
“I don’t expect you to say the same or feel as sure and clearly as I do. I know you’re still getting over Harry and your sister. I know that there’s a lot whirling around that little head of yours. But in time you’ll figure it all out, and when you do you can let me know. How about for now you let me take the lead. How about for now you just trust me” Louis says after realising I wasn’t going to respond to his declaration.
I study his expression, his eyes which hold tiny flicks of blue in many different shades which blur together into a clear and consuming colour.
“I trust you” I murmur lightly wrapping my arms around his neck, pulling him closer.
“So you’re coming to mine for Christmas?” Louis asks just to make sure.
“Looks like I’m spending Christmas in Doncaster” I grin before allowing our lips to meet.
Somewhere in the back of my mind Harry still dominates my thoughts. I’m going to be in England for Christmas. I’m going to be in the same country as Harry. In fact I’ll be less than two hours away from him.
The cool air swirls and the snow falls softly.
I remember the way your laugh warmed me.
The way your touch set my body alight.
Having you in the winter would be a life saver.
Keeping me warm, loved and happy.
I watch the flames dance and whirl,
And in them I see you.
I see you dancing to the radio when you though no one was looking.
I see you here beside me holding my hand.
Your head on my chest,
Your lips on my neck.
Without you I feel the cold,
I feel empty.
I’m now back from Greece. I had a wonderful time, ate my entire body weight in feta cheese and Greek yogurt and most importantly relaxed. While I was away I even read a book or two which to me is kind of an achievement as I’ve never really read books before, being dyslexic I’d always ignored the idea assuming I’d find it too difficult. Granted I probably do take a little more effort to be able to read but I’ve enjoyed it none the less and felt quite inspired too.
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