The room was cold due to the breeze coming from the open window, television was on and flannel sheets were softly laid under his body.
«Are you awake, Sir. Malik?» a girl asked.
«Yeah, are we going now?» he replied, turning his head towards her, following the direction of her voice and steps.
«Yes, do you want to go to the toilet first? You’ll be back in a couple of hours.» she proposed and he told her he had just come out.
«Perfect, we’re ready then.» the nurse stated, unlocking the wheels and pushing the bed where the young man was laying outside the room. He had patches on both of his eyes: he had been waiting for a eyes’ transplant for months.
Zayn found out he needed a transplant during the Christmas holidays and since then, he had to spend his days away from his beloved spray paints and walls.
Finally, he was ready to see them again.
Harry didn’t really feel like getting into the church and let people see how many tears his eyes could produce in the meanwhile of the funeral. He greeted everyone, replying to their condolences with a fake little smile, he listened to their words and then reached his mom to tell her he was staying outside. Anne gave him a kiss on his forehead and left him in the backyard of the church. Harry sat on the bench under the olive tree in the garden and hid his face in his big hands, waiting for everything to end. Their dog, Bell, had its head on Harry’s left foot and was crying with him.
Harry had a lot of images moving in his mind, a lot of memories that made his legs shiver.
Olivia was the first person Harry had ever loved, the first one to support his passion for photography, the first one to make him want to marry and have a family, the first one he introduced to his family and the only one he had brought to live with him. Olivia was worth every single future plan he had made, but someone decided to tear them apart, by not letting her wake up on a sunday morning. This was another reason keeping Harry out of the church: he was afraid he wouldn’t control himself and he’d yell at the priest, telling him it wasn’t fair that his beloved good God took away a 23 years old girl who was into university studies and was loved by every single person who knew her. It wasn’t fair to go to sleep next to the person you love and never wake up, never getting to see the sunshine draw lines and rainbows on your skin or getting to smell the scent of hot coffee through the house anymore.
Harry hit the bench with a punch, hurting himself against the wood. He took deep breaths and, as the air left his lungs, tears streamed down his face.
He felt defenceless, left without any reason to live, fight or react anymore. He was angry and disappointed, but the worst feeling was realising that he could do nothing to bring her back. She, and all the life with her, was gone.
Zayn woke up from the surgery surrounded by a few friends, his girlfriend and his family. When he opened his eyes, he could see flowers on his bedside table and a great amount of smiling expressions above his head.
«You are so gorgeous, my son.» Trisha exclaimed smilingly, caressing his face.
«I can’t wait to have you back, there’s a lot of things you must see!» Gigi added, pointing at her t-shirt with one of his graffiti printed on it. She placed a kiss on his cheek and stepped back, leaving space to Liam and Louis, who couldn’t wait to go out causing troubles all around the city with him.
When they all left, the doctors warned Zayn to stay away from sprays once again, for a month, so he patiently had to distract from the thought of going back to his job. He had already temporarily replaced walls with papers and sprays with pastels: he couldn’t leave art.
That was the time when Gigi involved him into all of their wedding stuff. Zayn hadn’t really proposed to her, but after 3 years of a tight-knit relationship, things were naturally going that way. Their parents had pushed them into it, because they thought it would benefit both of them. When they met, Gigi was a model for a streetwear company that had just bought a capsule collection designed by Zayn. They met at the launch party and ended up fucking in an elevator. Zayn was a very physical person, he loved seeing and touching women, it was his way of studying art. Some people called him a womanizer, but his affection was deeper: he believed in love, the one that lasts for a lifetime, but he also shared that “art for art’s sake” Oscar Wilde depicted in his books. Zayn was into literature, he connected to the aesthetic movement: the true art has nothing to do with morality, so cheating on Gigi meant nothing to him. He got inspired by women and even though Gigi was his favourite muse, he couldn’t stop adoring others, because he had to power to turn his experiences with them into the most voluptuous, vibrant and real work of arts of the last five years. Especially since he and Gigi met each other’s parents, Zayn felt a little oppressed, so he let every girl he met open his cage and set him free for a while.
The Parkland Walk was Bell’s favourite place to go for a walk, so Harry picked the dog and walked through Finsbury park with his headphones on, leaving the dog free to go where it wanted. Harry stopped to see how some guys were painting a graffiti on a wall: there was already a sketch of a woman and there were some very bright coloured splashes.
Harry heard a sound in his headphones and realised it was a notification. He was checking a message he just got on his phone and didn’t realise Bell was peeing on that wall until he heard someone yell.
«Go away!» shouted a blue eyed guy.
«Don’t be rude, Louis.» another guy added, putting his spray can on the ground and turning his face to see the dog. Bell jumped in his arms and he didn’t really expect it, falling on the ground while the dog licked all over his face.
«BELL!» Harry exclaimed reaching the group of people. «I’m sorry, he doesn’t usually do that..» he explained. «He only did that with Olivia.» he stated, whispering.
«Don’t worry.» replied the guy with a big smile, still laying on the floor. He had very dark hair and a bunch of tattoos all over his arms.
Harry offered him a hand to help him get up and he apologised again, holding Bell’s leash.
«It’s not a problem, darling.» remarked the tattoed guy. Harry abruptly turned his head to look at him. His eyes were sparkling and he couldn’t help but find them lovely. And familiar.
Harry blinked twice before realising it was better for him to leave.
«Bell, we’re going home.» he exclaimed in order to call the dog. The blue eyed guy was now making friends with Bell. «Have a nice day, goodbye.» Harry concluded, walking away without even turning his face.
«’bye! Oh, and by the way, I’m Zayn!» someone shouted behind his back, but he wasn’t brave enough to turn his head and see who it was.
«Bro, did you know that guy?» Louis asked.
«No, I didn’t. I’ve just met him.» Zayn explained.
«And you already call him “darling”?» Liam asked behind him, getting up from a breakdance move he had been trying for days.
«Shut the fuck up, Batman.» he replied, using Liam’s nickname. «We’re done here, I need to follow him.»
They left the park and got in their car, Louis driving fast to see where the guy and his dog where heading to. He parked his car under a lovely victorian building and went inside with Bell.
«How long do we have to wait yet?» Liam lamented.
«Are you in a hurry? Are you losing a train or do you have to take your pills, uh?» Zayn answered, pissed off. «We are waiting until he gets out. Period.» he concluded, looking outside his window.
He didn’t know his name, but he recognised Bell’s owner getting in his car again 10 minutes later. He had changed his clothes and was wearing black skinny jeans and a white t shirt. He had such a simple style, but Zayn couldn’t take his eyes off of him and his tattoos. Zayn couldn’t decipher them, but he found them so on point on that person.
«Get me home, Pan.» he ordered to Louis, calling him with the nickname they used in their squad.
When Zayn got home, his sisters and Gigi were checking out some wedding dresses catalogues, so he went in his room and started to undress, sitting on his bed.
«You are finally home! I waited for you!» Gigi broke out, placing a hand on his shoulder. He jumped and Gigi mumbled a “sorry”.
«I thought I was alone.» Zayn explained to her, getting up and wearing a random old t-shirt.
«But I am here, and I think it’s better than being alone.» she replied and Zayn nodded, but he wasn’t so sure about it. When she kissed him, he didn’t feel very comfortable.
That was weird. Zayn Malik, the guy who fucked Gigi in an elevator an hour later he met her, the same guy who cheated on her once or even twice a week with girls of every color, ethnicity and type just to get a full knowledge of the female human kind, found kissing his fiancée unpleasant.
«So, do you think there’s a root cause for this problem?» the psychoanalyst asked Zayn. He told Dr Horan about what had happened and kept repeating him “Is there any cure?”. They had been speaking for almost an hour and there was no apparent issue nor cure for him.
«When I saw that guy at the park. I don’t even know his name, but I can’t stop thinking about him. I just saw him once, but I’ve got him printed in my mind. It’s like I’ve know him for a lifetime, which is impossible.» he explained. «Gosh, this is all so weird and fucked up.»
«I understand.» the doctor replied quickly.
«Is there any cure, Dr Horan? Should I take some pills or whatever?» Zayn repeated. «I don’t understand what’s wrong with me: you know, I’ve always loved girls. I mean, I love them, they are such beautiful creatures, there’s life spurting from every action they do, it’s incredible.» Zayn added. «But I don’t find any pleasure in touching or kissing them anymore. It’s like I only fancy them on a platonic level.»
«Mr. Malik, there’s no need to take pills! This thing has a name: it’s love at first sight.» Dr Horan laughed. «And you could just be a bisexual. You know, you can like 99% girls and just 1% boys, that still makes you a bisexual, and it’s no big deal, to be honest.» he stated, leaving Zayn speechless. «You just have to go along with your feelings. There’s nothing wrong in you.» Dr Horan smiled to comfort him, giving a pat on Zayn’s back.
Zayn left the studio of the doctor in a hurry and jumped in his car: he had to see that guy, he had to shut his mind up.
He drove through the city with his window open, getting all the wind in his hair, covered by a grey beanie. When he turned into the alley, he realised the car of that guy wasn’t there, but he didn’t lose heart. He parked his car and buzzed the first name on the list of the residents of the building.
«Who’s there?» Zayn heard the voice of a lady asking.
«Oh, I’m the postman, there is a package I have to deliver, but there’s no name on it, can you open the front door?» he replied and immediately heard the door unlocking.
A middle aged woman appeared behind the door and introduced herself as the doorwoman (with her husband) of the building.
«I have a package for Bell the dog.» Zayn stated holding his backpack in a hand, implying he had the package inside.
«Oh, Harry’s dog! He is such a sweet person, life has been such a bitch to him, he didn’t deserve any of it. I hope life will give him good things in the future, that’s the only thing he deserves.» the lady explained.
So, that guy was called Harry. «Harry what?» he asked.
«Harry Styles, he lives upstairs, first floor.» she replied. «This condo is becoming more and more lonely. The only families left are mine and the Horans on the ground floor and Harry’s on the first.» she complained, in addiction. Zayn smiled a little bit.
«Do you know when he’s coming home? I must get the receipt signed by him.» Zayn invented.
«Oh, well, he’s a photographer, he can basically work at every hour of the day, but he left early morning, so I suppose he’s gonna be here for lunch.» she guessed.
«Okay, thank you.» Zayn cheerfully left.
As he got outside, he looked at the balconies of the first floor. There was actually only one that gave him the idea of being lived. There were pink flowers all around, it was so pleasing to watch that he felt the urge to take a picture with this phone and get a drawing of it soon or later.
Zayn climbed over the security wall and clambered up on the railing, getting inside of the balcony. The window frames were so old that just pushing them with his shoulder they gave up and opened, letting him get inside of the house.
Everything was white and plain, minimalistic. Zayn would never make that white last: he’d paint all over it, giving it life, colour, personality.
Zayn found himself tidying up the house, as he took the clothes randomly laying on chairs and floor and put them into the washing machine. He headed to the kitchen: the fridge was almost empty, but there was everything he needed to cook meatballs. As they slowly got cooked into the tomato sauce on the stove, Zayn went around the house, checking the pictures out. Harry was of photographer, so his house had a lot of pictures. Only a few of them were hung on the wall, while the rest of them were put in frames on the forniture. Zayn saw pictures of a younger Harry, who had curly hair and an innocent expression. He had only seen him with long hair and a sharp, tensed jaw. He looked very different and Zayn wondered what could have made him change in such a radical way. Everyone grows up and evolves, but that was a massive change. As he wondered about what could have affected Harry so much, he went to back to the kitchen and turned the stove off.
After checking out some pictures in the bedroom, which made Zayn feel quite uncomfortable and in the wrong place, he realised what was the reason: a girl, with long dark brown hair and hazel eyes, hugged him in almost every picture. In the picture Zayn was turning in his hand, he saw a puppy Bell being held by the girl and Harry holding a box: basically, Harry had gifted his girlfriend with Bell for Christmas.
At first, he thought the two were engaged like him and Gigi, and thinking about that made his stomach get a cramp, he felt jealous for Harry and his girlfriend and unpleased for him and Gigi, but right after he saw another picture that explained everything. There was a close up of her face lighted up by her breathtaking smile and on the back there were a simple quote, her name “Olivia Reesewater” with two dates: 12/11/1995 - 5/6/2018.
Zayn put his hand on his mouth and heard a harsh noise behind his back. As he turned, he saw Harry collapsed on the floor, fainted. Zayn put the picture back were it was, caressed Harry’s cheeck with his fingertips and headed to the balcony, running in the street and getting in his car breathing heavily. He wanted to stay and take care of him until he fully recovered, but Zayn realised he would have to explain who he was and why he was there, it was not the right time. Zayn himself didn’t have the answers yet.
Harry woke up feeling the cold material of the floor under his back. He sat and used an arm to get up, feeling very confused. He dreamed something, Olivia was home and was waiting for him. As he sighed, he perceived a good smell getting into his nostrils and giving to his brain a nice sensation. He let the smell guide his feet through the kitchen. There was a pot on the stove and Harry didn’t remember to have left it there. Alexis had his keys, maybe she had brought him lunch. As he touched it, he realised it was still hot and it contained meatballs in a lot of tomato sauce.
It was one of his favourite meals ever, so he grabbed a fork and give it a try. As he tasted the meatball, he had a memory of Olivia cooking for him. That memory reminded Harry of something he had read in a book, the episode of the madeleine for Marcel Proust. Only in that moment he understood what the french author meant.
Harry sat at his dining table and had lunch with those meatballs coming straight out of heaven. He didn’t know who actually made them and why, but he didn’t feel the urge to answer to that question. He thought he had seen Olivia and he had only cheerful memories in his mind. He could call it one of the weirdest days ever, but the things that had happened only made him smile. He realised it was all that mattered: his serenity.
«Batman, can you and Pan come and pick me up?» Zayn asked as Liam replied to his phone call. It was 10 p.m. and he was feeling so confused.
«Sure, is everything okay?» he answered.
«Yeah, I’ll tell you when we’ll be sitting somewhere with cocktails in our hands, so please hurry up.» he begged, clicking the red button to end the call.
Zayn put a pair of black ripped jeans on and made sure his white shirt was inside the trousers. He sprayed some Burberry perfume on his neck and left his room.
«Where are you going?» Trisha asked him as she saw her son walking downstairs.
«Out with Liam and Louis, please don’t wait for me, go to sleep if you’re tired.» he recommended her and gave her a kiss on the forehead.
«Okay, be careful.» she replied caressing his cheek and letting go of him, overhearing a car honking.
Zayn went down the stairs, took his keys from the cabinet behind the door and sat on the backseat of Liam’s Mini Cooper.
«Is there any place you wanna go to?» Batman asked.
«Wherever you want, I just need to talk and drink. Especially drinking.» he replied, placing his back on the soft fabric of the seat.
They drove through the city for 20 minutes in complete silence, eventually stopping in the carpark of an apparently nice bar called ‘21 savage’. It had neon lights everywhere and a scent of smoke and vanilla coming from the inside. They paid a ticket and seated around a table. Both Liam and Louis started to check the menu, undecided about the cocktail to drink, while Zayn didn’t really care. 10 minutes later, they ordered a Cosmopolitan, a Sex on the beach and a Liquid cocaine, which was made of Jagermeister, Bacardi and tequila.
«You really gotta say something tough, don’t you?» Louis exclaimed, reading the ingredients of Zayn’s cocktail on the menu.
«Yeah, let me drink a few sips and then I’ll tell you. I am going out of my head.» he stated.
Liam and Louis looked at eachother, worried. They waited a few more minutes to get the cocktails and then waited in absolute silence for Zayn to open up.
«I think I’m going crazy. It’s been almost a month since I last had sex.» he started.
«Well, it’s full of wonderful women here, go chat with someone and you’ll get one, it’s not difficult for you.» Liam exclaimed, interrupting Zayn.
«It is.» he replied harshly. «If you’d only let me finish.» he added, inhaling a deep breath and sipping another bit of his cocktail. «The thing is... I think I am gay.» he confessed.
«C’mon, without any warning, just because you can’t have sex with your girlfriend or any other girl?!» Louis exclaimed.
«Indeed, you said nothing.» Liam replied to Louis. Louis was underestimating the problem, while Liam was exaggerating, in Zayn’s opinion. He didn’t realise who much he was seeking to be cheered up.
«So you think I am becoming gay, don’t you?» Zayn asked him. Batman didn’t answer.
«In my opinion, you’re just getting a punishment for being with too many girls, cheating on Gigi and stuff. Or maybe you’re just afraid of your wedding, and once it’ll be over, you’ll feel just fine and happy.» Louis stated.
«I really hope it’s right as you say, but if I think about the wedding I just wanna run away on a desert island. But it’s not over: the worst part of the story, for me, is that I like that man...»
«What man?» Liam and Louis asked together.
«Remember the guy with the dog, the one I asked you to follow? Him. His name is Harry and he’s photographer. I sneaked into his house and he fainted as he saw me. I hope he doesn’t remember me, I made an ass of myself, I must have looked like a berk.»
«Wait, what?» his friends exclaimed and Zayn explained in the details what he had done that day.
«Okay, you are crazy.» Batman stated as he finished his storytelling.
«Shut up, Liam.» Louis replied. «Zayn, we support you no matter what, just please don’t get in trouble.»
Zayn thanked him and took a last sip of his cocktail. He felt two fingers tracings his neck and he turned his head quickly.
«What the f-» he mumbled, looking at the drag queen who was still touching him.
«Go away, we’re having a serious talk.» Louis commented bitterly.
«And who are you?» the drag asked, leaving Zayn to sit on Louis’ lap. «Choke me, cutie. I-I mean, drown me, ocean diver.» she corrected herself, looking into his eyes with a smirk. Louis had an expression of complete terror, that made Liam laugh in his sleeve.
«Oh and you? You could get all over me, honey. How nice it would be if you were sticking on me like honey syrup in the hand of a patissier.» she added, speaking almost in Liam’s ear and drawing his profile with a finger. She licked it. «You’re sweet, text me.» she commented.
«Wait, it’s such a pity that I am coming late!» she complained, gazing at Liam and then at Zayn several times fastly. «You guys are already with someone like me.» Zayn blinked unpatiently and his eyelashes touched the skin of his cheecks. «You’re more of a woman than me, I can read it in your eyes.» she stated, firmly looking into Zayn’s eyes.
Harry was napping on his sofa, with his mouth open and his right hand pressed on his ear. He was dreaming something, when he suddenly woke up, reacting to Bell barking.
«What’s up?» he asked him, rubbing his sleepy eyes.
Bell looked at him, seeking his attention to go out for a walk.
«You’re a pain the ass, c’mon.» Harry replied to that gaze, putting his coat on.
As they both left the house, Zayn pressed his hands on the window frame and quickly got inside.
He didn’t want Harry to find out he was standing outside his balcony, so he left it before Harry and Bell could come out of the building and look up at their house to find out that someone was trying to sneak in.
It had already been a month since he began sneaking into Harry’s apartment daily. Sometimes Harry was there and so Zayn had to look for a place to hide until he went to sleep or to work, so that Zayn could stare at him, cuddle a bit with Bell and then go home, but it also happened that Harry wasn’t there, so Zayn grabbed a book from the library and waited for him reading novels or poems. He had just finished his seventh book, Les Fleurs du Mal by Baudelaire, when he picked a book he had never seen before.
Harry’s portfolio was full of beautiful pictures. Those weren’t personal, he had taken pictures of flowers, monuments, beautiful view and details of simple things. Turning on the next page, he found a note: “Working on it, still haven’t found those hypnotic eyes”. It was like a new section of the portfolio had started, since there were a lot of close-up pictures of eyes. Zayn thought Harry had quite an obsession with them and he found himself thinking he would have loved to know Harry had an obsession with his eyes. But he knew that wasn’t possible, since it had been more than a month since Harry last -officially- saw him. Harry wouldn’t remember him. At least, not for his eyes, maybe for his tattoos or his haircut. Zayn was quite humble about his appearance, he didn’t think he was handsome or he had remarkable features. So he would never expect someone to think he was unique, not even for a detail.
About an hour later, Zayn heard the key opening the door: he left the portfolio on the coffee table and he quickly ran out the balcony. Bell got inside before Harry did, and went to sit on the sofa, on the spot Zayn was sitting before.
«Bell, get off!» Harry shouted. «You have your cushion to sit upon, don’t get my sofa hairy because of you. I hate cleaning it.» he begged. Bell didn’t move, curling himself on the fabric and smelling a smoking scent only he could percieve.
«Fine, I’m going to bed.» Harry exclaimed.
Zayn made sure Harry was in his room and waited 10 minutes to get inside once again. He greeted Bell and cuddled him for a while. The dog was inexplicably quiet around him, so it was nice to play together every night and letting Harry know about it.
«Hold on, I’m coming soon.» Zayn whispered, going to the bathroom.
As he got out, he heard noises coming from the living room, so he hurried up to see what was happening. Bell was laying on the floor. It looked like he was sleeping, because he was softly breathing, but he smelled very bad. Zayn feared someone had poisoned him.
He wanted to take care of him, but his thoughts went immediately to Harry. He was sleeping and if thieves had poisoned his dog, they could treat him the same way too.
Zayn ran in Harry’s bedroom and saw two people looking inside Harry’s wardrobe. He grabbed an oriental statue from the dresser and hit one of them on a shoulder and kicked the other one in the ass.
«What the f-» Harry exclaimed, turning the light he had on his bedside table on. He got out of bed and looked at the two thieves on the floor.
«What are these people doing inside my bedroom?» he mumbled.
«They were trying to steal something.» Zayn answered.
«And who are you?» Harry asked, turning his face to Zayn. He knew he wasn’t a thief, but he still needed the answer.
«What does it matter?» Zayn replied.
«Why did you get inside of my house?» he asked, again.
«I love you.» Zayn confessed, making Harry widen his eyes and blush. «I don’t know what happened to me, it’s the first time.. but you drive me crazy.»
Zayn waited for him to say something, but Harry didn’t move. He just looked at Zayn and at the thieves repeatedly, making Zayn wonder whether he was confused or angry.
«All of you get out of my house, now.» Harry ordered, grabbing the thieves for their shirts and pushing them outside. He looked at Zayn, implying he had to leave too. He didn’t expect Harry to hug him and tell him sweet things but being kicked out of the house felt like a punch on his face.
Zayn left the house with his head down and tears of anger in his eyes. He got inside of his car and let the tears stream down his face. As they stopped, he started the car, turned the radio on and went to the 24h supermarket to get a few spraypaint can. He had a whole set of his own at home, but he didn’t want to go there at the moment. He got back in the car throwing the shoppers on the seat and headed to the park where he had first met Harry.
As he got there, he took the shoppers and put them on the bench in front of the wall, setting his spray cans and a sleeping bag he had bought. He got that idea listening to “The man who can’t be moved” by The Script on the radio and he thought that if Harry changed his mind, he wouldn’t know where to look for him.
“Cause if one day you wake up and find that you're missing me
And your heart starts to wonder where on this earth I could be
Thinkin' maybe you'll come back here to the place that we'd meet
And you'll see me waiting for you on our corner of the street
So I'm not moving, I'm not moving”
Zayn draw a figure with its hair in the wind with the brightest colours he had found, mainly green and yellow. He was too tired to complete it, so he got into his sleeping bag and fall asleep under the stars.
As the sun rose, Harry took Bell to the vet to check him up. He had been poisoned, but was fine. The doctor suggested Harry to take him for a walk in the morning breeze so that he could actually wake up properly and then bring him home. So Harry went with Bell to Parkland Walk and let him free to go around and have fun. He was just curling himself into the grass, when he galloped towards a black thing on the floor and scratched it. Harry didn’t really recognise what it was when he saw a zip getting open and a head popping out of it.
«Bell?» Zayn exclaimed. «What are you doing here? Are you fine?» he asked with a big smile, caressing the head of the dog. Bell replied by licking his face and smiling.
«I am happy you are good now, you looked so bad last night.» Zayn told him, sticking his tongue put to mock how Bell was laying on the floor. «I bet you’re not alone here, but he doesn’t want to see me.» Zayn added, noticing Harry was standing behind a tree.
«Now go, you’ll see me one of these days, I am not letting my big boy miss me.» he stated, forcing himself to stop cuddling his soft coat.
Bell turned his body and obeyed him, heading to Harry.
Harry couldn’t believe his eyes: the graffiti that looked just like him, Bell being good friend with Zayn. All of that was just too much, too unexplainable.
Harry needed to forget it all.
Harry had kept his mind busy from thinking about what happened that night. In fact, he was touring summer camps with a few of his co-workers from the agency he worked for: he had spent a weekend in Kent, around Canterbury, and was now heading to Brighton.
«So, tonight we’re all going out, I have some friends I want to introduce y’all.» Xavier proposed to the 3 other guys. He was driving an old black Toyota and turned his head to Matt, sitting next to him. Two of those guys, Matt and James, agreed, while Harry was sceptical. He kept looking outside his window like he hadn’t even heard a single word.
«C’mon, Harry, you can’t have plans! And I don’t want to think of you sitting in your hotel room watching tv, eating sushi and drinking wine. That’s not gonna happen. Even at the cost of invading your room and forcing you to get out. Or invading your room and set up a huge sleepover.» James added.
Harry realised that what he had described was just his plan. “I don’t want to become so predictable.” he thought.
«Fine, I give up.» he surrendered, facepalming. James, Xavier and Matt cheered and he laughed. «I am not planning to have a sleepover with you.» he added, pushing James playfully.
Zayn had sold one of the paintings he had done before his surgery to an art exhibition: its curator had seen it online and thought it could match perfectly with their permanent collection. Zayn made sure he could deliver it himself to the gallery, so he asked Louis to help him get the canvas in his car. Liam was missing because he had broken his arm while breakdancing.
«Let’s go.» Louis exclaimed. «Can I drive?» he asked, having Zayn to nod in agreement.
They drove for half an hour listening to reggae music, when Zayn abruptly hit his fist in the window.
«I am going crazy.» he realised. «I can’t stop thinking about Harry, I miss him.»
«Let me tell you something. This feeling won’t go away until you get him, but be aware that he could refuse you. It would break your heart.» Louis stated.
«I know, that already sucks.» Zayn replied.
«But it’s better to try and fail than to give up and get regrets.» Louis added and Zayn nodded.
When they arrived to the art gallery, Mr. Calder almost cried of happiness.
«This painting is so beautiful, you are very talented, Zayn.» he confessed.
«Thank you! I don’t think I am really good at painting, I prefer spray painting, but due to a surgery I had to stop for a while. Of course, I didn’t stop making art.» Zayn explained.
«Then you must be one of the best street artist in the country, because only perfection can be greater than this.» he complimented, making Zayn blush. Many people told him he was good, but nobody had gone that far. Louis smiled so big, he was very proud of his best friend.
«Thank you very much.» Zayn replied, as Mr Calder payed him for the painting.
«Please, be my guests tonight, I want to bring you to the best restaurant in the city.» he invited them.
«Fine, might we meet here at 8pm? We don’t really know this town.» Zayn accepted.
«Of course, see you later.» the curator replied.
They held each other’s hands and Zayn and Louis exited, going back in the car. They smiled at eachother and turned the radio loud: Zayn was very happy and he wanted to live the moment.
Harry followed his friends into the restaurant: they had booked a table at 8pm, but the restaurant was almost empty. They were a group of 8 people, Xavier introduced him to his cousin and her three best friends. They were gorgeous women, but Harry was more interested into the food than into them.
«So, this is considered the best restaurant in Brighton.» he exclaimed opening the menu. «Let’s see what they have.»
«Yeah, it is. Let me recommend you their fish in salt crunch.» Xavier’s cousin, Lara, replied.
«That’s a great suggestions, I’ll take it.» Harry decided, making her smile.
All of them got what they had ordered at the same time, and James proposed a toast before trying their food.
At their back, they heard a bunch of heavy steps and all turned their heads to see three men and a girl enter the room. They sat a few tables away from Harry’s group. As the newcomers took seats, Harry almost chocked with his wine, drawing everybody’s attention,
Lara and her friends asked him if he was fine, one even patted his back and got closer, but he nodded and turned his head again, checking if one of those guys was Zayn. It was him, it could be only him with those eyes lighting his face up even though he was clenching his jaw. Zayn threw his handkerchief on the table and asked to waiter where the bathroom was. He got up and walked past Harry to get there. Since Harry felt his eyes on him, almost like he had dragged him to follow him, he got up.
«Sorry, I’ll go to the toilet.» Harry announced faking a little leftover cough.
Zayn had gotten inside the woman’s toilet, closing the door behind his back, and Harry didn’t want to go there. What would have people thought of him? Nobody had ever tried his mind and his moral so much.
«What the fuck are you doing here?» Harry shouted.
«I could ask you the same question.» Zayn replied.
«I was here for work and my coworkers invited some friends over to have dinner, okay? What about you?» Harry explained.
«I sold a painting to a man and he invited me and Louis for dinner.» Zayn answered. «And no, it’s not “okay”, those girls were all over you, such trumps.» he added, disgusted.
Harry forced the door and opened it. Zayn winced, remaining with his shoulders on the wall. Harry got inside and closed the door, hoping no one would come.
«It’s not very respectful to call people you don’t know like that.» Harry stated.
«It’s not very respectful to force a door someone has locked on purpose.» Zayn commented.
«Don’t. Mock. Me.» Harry spelled between clenched teeth.
«Or what, you’ll kill me?» Zayn dared.
Harry took Zayn for a piece of fabric of his black t-shirt, right in the middle of his chest, he pulled it in his direction and right after pushed Zayn against the wall. Zayn grinned as he felt Harry’s lips crashing onto his, rushing his hands in Harry’s long hair and pulling him closer.
Zayn could taste Harry’s red wine and his own toothpast blending together. He smelled Harry’s perfume and it felt like home. He smiled on his lips and opened his eyes, looking up at Harry. They stared into each other’s eyes for a few interminable moments.
«This is a mistake. Sorry.» Harry suddenly mumbled, placing his hand on the doorknob and getting out of the toilet, leaving Zayn speechless.
Some minutes later, Zayn went back into the dining room and shook his hand to draw Louis’ attention. He greeted the gallerist and his daughter and reached him outside.
«What’s wrong?» Louis asked. «I was flirting with Eleanor, I really like that girl.»
«We gotta get out of here, bring me home. Please.» Zayn begged and smoke his cigarette on the way to the car park.
«Luckily, I have given her my number, so I won’t miss my occasion.» he announced. Zayn didn’t pay attention to his story, he looked like his mind was somewhere else. «What happened?» Louis wondered as he took the key from his pocket.
«He was there, did you see him? Well, we kissed. And then he called it a mistake.» Zayn replied looking outside the window. «From the best to the worst moment within a few seconds.» he added pissed off. He didn’t really want to talk about it, he was very hurt. Louis didn’t say anything, he just pressed his feet on the accelerator and hoped Zayn would get better soon. Zayn didn’t say anything else, he just kept writing (or drawing, Louis couldn’t tell) on his notebook.
Harry invented a sudden headache to leave the restaurant. He went to his hotel room and fell on his bed still with his clothes on. He hid his face in the pillow and bite the fabric of the pillowcase. He had that kiss stuck in this mind: those lips happily accepting him, those eyes looking at him like he was the most precious and rare thing on the whole planet. Zayn’s smile and the sparkle in his eyes were happiness at its best. Harry felt a smile on his lips remembering all of that. He wondered why: why had he felt the urge to kiss another man? Why was he struggling so much about it? He was a free man, there was nothing wrong with feeling good once again, even though it seemes to be a bit too soon. His head was full of questions but Harry hadn’t answers. He suddenly felt exhausted and fell asleep still thinking of Zayn.
“Don't look around cause love is blind
And, darling, right now I can't see you
I'm feeling proud so without a doubt
I can feel you
Cause we are who we are when no one's watching
And right from the start, you know I got you
I won't mind
Even though I know you'll never be mine
We messed around until we found the one thing
we said we could never ever live without
I'm not allowed to talk about it
But I gotta tell you
Cause we are who we are when no one's watching
And right from the start, you know I got you
I won't mind
Even though I know you'll never be mine”
Zayn kept reading for days what he had written in the car that night. It felt liberatory to let his thoughts out. Actually he felt so disappointed, he touched heaven and then he fell on the ground, hurting himself. His family didn’t know what he was going through so they just asked him what he was palling to do with Gigi because it was unfair for her and her family to not get married, they all were thinking about presents, about the money they had spent, but Zayn didn’t matter. He confirmed to marry her because he was so sure that Harry would never do something for him. Harry was still crying over his girlfriend, which was right, but Zayn demanded attention. He wanted Harry to kiss him again, to hug him and tell him he had missed him, he wanted to lay with him on the couch with Bell’s licking his face. Zayn didn’t even know why he was feeling all of that. He had always been a lonely person, he felt better staying on his own, fucking and making art every time he felt the urge to do it.
He thought love existed, but it didn’t belong to him. He only knew the love for art, but since he had met Harry, he had begun to have new feelings.
«Have you seen my cousin’s gift?» Gigi asked Zayn, handing him a box.
«Are you happy?» he replied, but he didn’t give her the time to reply. «This is all you care about? Presents, flowers, dinners, attentions, your body, your own family? Don’t you get tired to do all of this, to be so demanding, to be so fake. I can’t stand all of this.» he angrily shouted. Gigi turned around and disappeared behind Waliyah’s door.
«I don’t see you happy.» Trisha stated, sitting on th couch next to Zayn.
«I am marrying Gigi.» Zayn replied.
«That means nothing. A wedding can make you the happiest or the saddest person in the world. Are you hanging out with someone else?» she wondered.
«Mom.» Zayn called her.
«I love you, you can say anything. I will always be by your side, because only a mother can love her child unconditionally.» she replied.
Zayn didn’t know what to do. He wasn’t keeping that weight all on his own, he had spoken to his best friends, but he needed to speak more.
«Okay, mum. I am telling you, but please don’t freak out.» he warned Trisha. «There’s someone else and it’s a guy. There’s nothing between us, we kissed and I felt the happiest I have ever been in my whole life, but for him he was nothing more than a mistake. I don’t know what’s happening to me, I feel weird, but I can say I am in love.»
Zayn didn’t dare to look at her in the eyes the whole time, so he closed his eyelids and spoke and waited seeing nothing but a black space. Trisha took his hand and caressed it, soothing his worry with her love.
Harry had a long weekend free and so he spent those days at home, waking up late, walking Bell around his area and doing grocery shopping at Tesco. When Alexis, the lovely landlady of the building where he lived, saw him, she gave him a worried glance.
«Harry, are you fine?» she asked him.
«Yeah, Alexis, I am.» he replied bending down and leaning to kiss her on the cheek.
«I know you and I can tell you’re not okay. You are weird these days. Forgive me if I say so, but you’re looking exactly the way you looked right after Olivia passed away. I thought you were finally feeling better but I guess I was wrong.»
Harry was speechless. He wasn’t even looking in the mirror in the morning lately, he forgot his camera at home. He realised he was feeling, and also giving the impression, of being completely absent to himself, too worried about his quirks to notice how down he was.
«You should go out and see someone, that guy that brought Bell’s stuff was very nice, you should think about it. You need someone, for how bad this sounds, but it’s the truth. It takes a big strength to be alone and feeling properly good. It gets easier when you have someone to share your problems with, to talk about what goes on in your mind and to distract.»
«Wait, what guy?» Harry asked, getting in response the description of Zayn.
So Zayn, his obsession, the only thing he could think about lately, had been there. Thinking about it, he even realised it wasn’t Alexis who cooked for him, who did some grocery shopping and tidied his room. It was Zayn, it was him to touch his pictures and let Bell sit on the couch and it must have been Zayn to make him faint.
«Sorry, I gotta go now.» he greeted Alexis closing the door behind his back. He brought the shoppers inside the kitchen and called Bell.
«You have food and water here.» he said pointing out two bowls on the floor. «I have to go. Sorry if I don’t bring you with me, but I don’t even what I am going to do exactly, so it’s better if you stay here.» he stated scratching the dog’s ears with a smile.
Zayn lived in a beautiful white mansion with a porch and white fixtures surrounded by the woods. It was so pleasing to watch, so plain to actually remind of Zayn. Harry thought it could be more his own house than Zayn’s, but he probably still lived with his parents.
«Oh, whatever, Harry. Don’t be a fool and now, go.» Harry told himself, thinking out loud.
He rang the bell and knocked on the door, impatiently waiting to be opened. He was an hellcat, he was so motivated to fight Zayn for entering into his house and fooling him like that. He knocked again, until a woman opened the door: she reminded him of his mother, but she was shorter and had some of Zayn’s features.
«Get him to me, mom.» Zayn ordered from somewhere quite far.
«Hi, I’m Trisha. Zayn is in his room.» she introduced herself to Harry, leading him upstairs.
«I’m Harry. Sorry if I was rude.» he replied.
«It’s okay.» she cheered him up, walking in the corridor.
Trisha opened a door and quickly disappeared behind Harry. He followed her with his eyes for a few seconds, then he inhaled some air and got inside that room. The four walls were all spraypainted and there were some shelves overflowing with books. His bed was totally white, so aesthetically calming in comparison to the rest of the room.
«Hi.» Zayn mumbled, closing the door.
«Hi.» Harry replied in a whisper. «Look, I was and I still am in love with Olivia, my girlfriend – he stated, looking above– but I gotta admit I missed your eyes.» he confessed, looking away. He talked fast, because he knew that if he waited even a few seconds, he wouldn’t have spoken anymore.
Zayn got closer to him and Harry could smell his vanilla scent.
«W-What are you doing?» Harry stuttered.
Zayn took advantage of his confused expression to kiss him and threw his arms around him. After a few seconds of surprise, Harry kissed him back, drawing circles with his tongue and moaning everytime Zayn bit his lip. Zayn caressed his back and then put his hands under Harry’s t-shirt. He wanted to make love to that body like he had done to all of the women he had brought in his room. He wanted to make love to Harry like he deserved to, to kiss and bite his skin and leave marks on it like he was its owner.
But felt Harry’s nerves getting in tension under his touch and so he let go of him.
«I know you are afraid of me. I know I basically stalked you, I got inside your house, made friend with your dog. I did weird things I don’t usually do. But I did everything for a reason.» Zayn mumbled, sitting at the end of his bed. «I think there’s a difference between existing and being alive. Every time you take a breath, you remind yourself that you’re existing. You have your feet on the ground, you see what surrounds you, you have your senses to remind you that you are on this Earth. But do you have a place where you belong to? Do you have deep feelings?» Zayn stated, looking into Harry’s green eyes by the time he was asking him those questions. «I thought I was alive just because I took other people’s lives in my hands, I touched those bodies and probably hurt their souls, but that feeling is ephemeral. I was poisoned by their presence, I wanted to feel life into my bloodstream and let it flow in my hands and get on my walls and canvas. But after I found you, I realised you were the one to make me feel alive by only existing. I look at you and I feel alive, I feel my heartbeat in my throat, I feel my legs shaking.» he confessed. «And if I could mean the same to you, I would be the happiest man on the earth.»
Harry looked at him confusedly, passing an hand in his hair. He turned to Zayn and kissed him softly, not even allowing Zayn to open up the kiss.
«This is the last time we see eachother, promise me.» he sighed.
«Don’t worry, I’m getting married tomorrow.» Zayn replied.
Harry turned his head and gave him a look that was half confused, half disappointed.
«Are you happy?» he asked sincerely.
«Would it change anything?» Zayn countered, pushing his whole body on the mattress.
All the guests were sitting on the chairs of the Islington Town Hall. Zayn was standing next to Trisha on the red moquette and nervously looked at his feet. He had bought a wonderful Armani suit and he was mesmerising.
«You are so handsome, I am shocked.» Louis announced, greeting him.
Zayn laughed, he didn’t know what he would do without him. He greeted Liam, too, who was feeling better with his broken arm. They both looked gorgeous.
«You two should dress more often like this.» Zayn commented.
«Then I’ll use this suit for my first date with Eleanor.» Louis planned.
«So you are still texting with her?» Zayn asked him, thinking about that night in Brighton. If he didn’t have his mind somewhere else, he would surely consider hooking up with her, but he was happy Louis was getting a chance with someone.
«Yeah, we wanted to go on a date this week but your wedding comes first, my buddy.» he replied and Zayn gave him a pat on his back.
«She’s coming!» Doniya announced, walking to reach Zayn.
Zayn greeted his future wife with a kiss on her forehead, it was such a tender thing for him, and they sat on their red leather seats.
They were about to sign their papers, when everybody turned their heads, hearing a dog barking. Zayn saw Bell running in his direction, jumping in his arms.
«Bell!» he exclaimed. «What are you doing here?» he asked, looking at the door.
«Bell.» Harry called his dog, but Bell stayed still in Zayn’s arms. Harry didn’t say anything else, but he waited for Zayn. Zayn’s face brightened as a smile appeared on his mouth, putting his tongue between his teeth.
«What is happening here?» Gigi asked.
«I am sorry, I can’t marry you. I don’t love you and I realised I never did.» Zayn confessed, leaving her speechless. Everyone was so shocked that no one dared say a word.
Zayn got up from his seat and walked away, reaching Harry. He placed an hand on his chest and held Bell with an arm. He was quite heavy, but he found the strenght to keep him and kiss Harry. Zayn gave him a tender kiss, while everybody began to whisper random comments.
Trisha smiled and mumbled an apology to Gigi, but she kept looking at Zayn, who had such an happy expression on his face.
«I am sorry if I was confused, it was everything so new to me.» Harry apologised in between kisses.
«I forgive you.» Zayn replied, letting go of Bell. Louis got closer to play with him.
Liam faked a cough, reminding Zayn there were people watching them.
Zayn went to his mother to hug her and warned her he was leaving with Harry.
«Can you face these people for me? I need to go, please.» he begged her and she nodded, kissing his cheek.
Zayn followed Harry in his car, watching him driving home while cuddling Bell. They got upstairs and as Harry closed the door, Zayn crushed on him, kissing his mouth. They made out against the wall, then Zayn went to the living room and switched on the speakers, connecting them to his phone.
«What are you doing?» Harry asked him, with an hand in his hair.
«I am playing a playlist I made for you.» Zayn replied. «And I am turning the volume very loud, cause I am going to make you scream and I don’t want your lovely neighbors to hear you.» he added.
Harry looked at him with a little embarrassment in his eyes, he didn’t expect Zayn to be that enterprising, but he found it pleasing, it definitely turned him on.
Zayn took his tie off and held it in his hand: «Maybe we’ll save this for later.» he decided, putting it in the pocket of his jacket.
He kissed Harry’s lips and he didn’t have to wait for him to let him: Harry opened his mouth and french kissed Zayn. The dark haired guy run his hands under Harry’s navy shirt, unbottoning him and seeing his tattoos for the first time.
Zayn placed kisses all over his neck and chest and as he arrived on his stomach, where there was a massive butterfly tattoo, he whispered: «If I could fly, I’d hold your hand and bring you wherever you want and if I lose you, I’d fly anywhere to find you and get you back.»
Harry didn’t know what to say, so he stayed silent, as Zayn kissed every inch of his skin voluptuously. He unzipped Harry’s trousers and let them fall on the ground, as his mouth kept leaving kisses, hickeys and bites on his pale skin. Zayn sat on the couch, on his personal spot, and he pushed Harry closer by the elastic band of his underwear. He felt Harry being quite turned on.
«Do you want me to blow you?» Zayn asked, unbottoning his own white shirt on his chest.
«Yes.» Harry replied.
«Wrong answer, darling.» Zayn countered, seeing Harry’s dick react at his “darling”.
«Please.» Harry begged, feeling the urge to get rid of his underwear.
Zayn began to lick the fabric, feeling under his tongue the hotness of his hard cock. Harry let out a bit of precum as Zayn’s fingers traced the shape on his leg and got under his boxers, making Zayn realise it was time to blow him. He had no experience, but he thought that doing Harry what drove himself crazy would be just fine. So he took the band between his teeth and set Harry’s dick free. Then he licked all over it, sucking the balls and pumping that hardness with his hand. Harry bit his lip and placed his hands on Zayn’s black hair, pushing him closer and closer. Within a few minutes, Harry was moaning and sweating, and he came into Zayn’s mouth, who swallowed his tasty sperm.
«Remember: love sucks, true love swallows. And you taste heavenly.» Zayn stated licking his lips and grabbing Harry’s ass.
As I’ll make love to you by Boyz II Men started to play, Zayn brought Harry in the bedroom and took the tie from his pocket.
«You are never gonna get away.» Zayn whispered in Harry’s ear, pushing him on the bed and tying one of his hands with the fabric. Zayn undressed quickly and went on top of Harry, kissing his spine and licking his skin.
«Ride me.» Harry begged. Zayn put his fingers in Harry’s mouth and made him lick it, then he put the fingers in his butthole to prepare Harry for his own dick. Harry moaned and bit his lips again while Zayn fingered him and in the meanwhile, he went back to the shoulders and left luxurious kisses and hickeys.
Zayn was feeling like all the sex he had made to women in his life was just a grain of sand compared to the feeling of making love to Harry. He was dominating him and still he felt love spurting into the room from the both of them, he never felt so high on someone.
He realised he was making love, love at its best, with Harry. Having sex was fun, but making love was greater, was the most amazing thing on earth. He could feel his legs shiver even though the temperature was hot in the room and their bodies radiated heath.
When he finally got inside Harry, the green eyed guy shouted pleased. Zayn rode him from behind, spreading Harry’s legs to make him feel everything deeper. Harry used his free hand to scratch Zayn’s skin and push his head even closer to his body. Zayn thrusted a few more times, hushing himself by biting and lasciviously kissing his shoulder blades. Harry was getting drunk of those kisses, of Zayn’s love. He didn’t feel a sexual impulse at first, but now that he was involved into having sex with him, he realised how much he was subconsciously craving for it. He could feel Zayn’s perfume mixing with the smell of his skin, the sweat from riding him so good, that he felt poisoned. If he could inhale a scent for the rest of his life, he would pick it: Zayn making love to him. As Zayn bit his skin during his last thrusts, Harry screamed so loud that his volume was higher than Usher’s “Dive” in the stereo. Zayn came inside of Harry and he kissed the skin he had bit, like he could cure him with his love.
«HARRY! HARRY, IS EVERYTHING OKAY?» Alexis shouted from behind the door. It had been hours since she first heard music in his house and she know Harry wasn’t really used to do it.
Zayn and Harry got dressed again and Harry opened the door, while Zayn turned the volume down and cuddled Bell, waiting for him on the couch.
«Yeah, it’s okay, we were just having a little party..» Harry replied opening the door.
Alexis looked inside and saw Zayn holding Bell in his arms and smiled at him.
«Oh, don’t worry, just please be a little quieter next time.» she warned them and Harry turned to look at Zayn, who was laughing.
«I’ll be more careful.» Harry greeted her.
«I should have made a bet about it.» Zayn declared.
«About what?» Harry asked sitting next to Zayn on the couch.
«Oh, you know, you screaming even louder than the music.» Zayn replied, looking into Harry’s green eyes. He never noticed how beautiful they were, surely they were more special than his own.
«And what would you bet?» Harry inquired curiously.
«Let’s say it was quite a turn on to see you in that city hall.» Zayn replied with a smirk, putting his tongue between his teeth.
«We don’t need to piece of paper from the city hall.» Harry announced in a whisper, leaning in to kiss Zayn’s breathtaking smile.