The raindrops against the window makes a small thump as it quickly comes crashing down. Harry sits directly next to the window - he wanted that seat. He hadn't thought it would've started raining.
Normally he would've enjoyed the rain. Would've enjoyed the feeling of knowing that some things can't be controlled by humans. He would've even stood up and walked out, just to get the feeling of the small water drops on his face.
But this isn't like a normal day.
Beside him is Liam, who might look calm, but Harry knows that he's fuming inside. That's something he's always admired about Liam - he knows how to control his emotions. He know when to speak and when not to speak.
Harry on the other hand...
Harry's not like that. Harry can't - won't - keep his feelings bottled up. Fuck, he feels like it's the only bit of control he has left in his life.
So he sits in his chair next to the window that's now fully covered in rain. He sits and he's absolutely fuming. He sits glaring at the people in the room. He's trying to intimidate them before he finally speaks.
"No," He says firmly. He's trying to make a point, so he repeats himself, "No."
The head of the management, Mr. Johnson, who's sitting at the head of the table, looks at him. His dark eyes glance over Harry's face - he hopes he looks intimidating - and almost as if he decides that Harry isn't worth a second more of his time, he quickly looks away.
Harry's never liked him.
He's never liked anybody in the room besides his bandmates. The rest of the people in the room are glancing between Harry and Mr. Johnson.
Harry thinks it's the first time anybody's ever said no to Mr. Johnson. He likes to think as himself as brave.
Mr. Johnson clears his throat before speaking, "Look, Harry. The arrangements already been made. We can't change it now -"
Harry cuts him off. "Well, maybe you should've actually discussed it with us before making such shit arrangements!"
Mr. Johnson narrows his eyes at him. Maybe he's trying to set Harry on fire with the amount of hatred in his eyes. "We understand how you feel. But your contract clearly states that final decisions are made by us."
Now it's Harry's turn to narrow his eyes. "Well, does my contract state that you can work me past the point of being worn out?" He glances to the people in the room. They look annoyed. Good.
"Harry, you don't understand - " Mr. Johnson tries again, only to be cut off by Harry's laugh - it's a tired laugh.
"You're right! I don't understand!" He looks to Niall, who's sitting in chair opposite him with his hands in his lap and head down. He's clearly trying to avoid eye contact and that enough makes Harry angry all over, "I don't understand how you expect us to start a fucking stadium world tour in a month when we literally just finished one 6 weeks ago. I don't understand that and I don't think Liam and Niall understand either. So please, make me understand."
Mr. Johnson looks too calm and Harry knows exactly what's coming next.
"If not for yourself, do it for your fans."
Harry loves his fans. He loves them so much and will forever be grateful for what they've done for - not only him - but the band. He loves making music for his fans and love making them happy. He just -
He hates the things they don't know.
Surprisingly, it's Liam who speaks up. "The fans wants us to have a break. They understand that we're tired and overworked. I'm sure they'll understand if we start the tour a month or two later."
Harry thinks Mr. Johnson will get whiplash with the way he quickly snaps his next to look at Liam. He glares between them before smiling.
Harry thinks it looks sinister.
"You will start the tour within exactly 31 days and you will be attending extra dates within the tour," And Mr. Johnson says it so causally. Says it as if he's announcing that they're out of food and he's going to grab some KFC. He says it like he doesn't know he's destroying their lives further.
Harry snorts. "No wonder why Zayn left."
Mr. Johnson stand up suddenly, voice ice cold as he speaks, "Mr. Malik left because he has stress and depression he needs to work through."
Harry also stands up, facing Mr. Johnson who looks up at him. He's glad he's tall.
"Zayn left because of you. He left because you overwork us."
And the thing is, it's only been a few months since Zayn left but the wound is still visible and wide open. Harry's happy that Zayn left, happy to know that one of them got away from all this bullshit.
He guesses Mr. Johnson doesn't like to be reminded of the fact that he doesn't have control over one of his puppets anymore because all he says while looking Harry over with cold eyes is, "31 Days. We'll call you if we need you."
And with that he walks out of the room with the rest of the people following hot on his heels. Harry doesn't like them at all.
He feels so frustrated and so angry and so - so tired. He slumps down back in his chair and puts his head in his hands. It's quiet for a few moments before Niall clears his throat.
"Fuck, I hate them."
He looks up from behind his hands and glances to Liam who's already looking back at him. They let out a little laugh at the same time.
Liam shakes his head. "You're not the only one Nialler. And you," he nudges Harry's shoulder, "You have no control when it comes to these meetings, do you?"
Harry smirks back at him. "Funny, considering the fact that you're the one who wrote No Control."
Niall's laughs eco's through the almost empty room.
It sounds light and refreshing and exactly what Harry needs right now to forget what had happened only a few minutes ago.
On the table, not too far from where Harry's sitting, there is a newspaper. It's the first time he notices it since he has come in 45 minutes ago. He lifts his body up, so he can reach out for the paper and when he has it in his grasp, he plumps down on the chair. With one look at the front of The Sun - figures - he immediately lets go of it.
HARRY STYLES OUT WITH MYSTERIOUS BLONDE.
Is what the headlines say. And there is a picture of Harry from the previous night existing a restaurant, and not too far behind him is a pretty blonde girl. He doesn't know her. It's actually the first time he has seen her in his life and he doubts she's arsed with him. But because of some stupid pap, the poor girl is probably going to receive hate for the next 2 weeks.
He groans. He's honestly so tired.
Sighing, he turns his chair around so it can face the window. It hasn't stopped raining yet and Harry's grateful for that. He likes the rain.
When Harry had won the X-Factor with Liam, Niall and Zayn back in 2010, he had been 16 and naïve. He had truly believed that all he'll ever have to do was sing for the fans. He now realizes that he was so ignorant. So blinded with the idea of fame that he hadn't considered the sacrifices he'd have to make to make it big. And, he doesn't regret making music for the fans, he just regrets everything else. It's tiring, is the thing.
Harry's tired of lies. Harry's tired of constantly being overworked and he's tired of being manipulated by his own fucking management. If he had known back in 2010 that it would be like this, he would've never signed that damn contract. He bet Zayn would've stayed, too. He misses Zayn.
He hears a phone ring and he's reminded that yes, he's still in the room where the meeting had been only a few minutes prior. He looks up just as Liam pulls out his phone and when he gets a look at who's calling, he frowns. It's unlike Liam, so Harry's confused. He bets Niall is too. Liam clears he throat and looks up between them. "I'm sorry, I have to take this." And then he stands up and quickly rushes our of the room.
He watches Liam retreating figure and then looks at Niall. They share a look before Niall just shrugs.
"So," Niall begins. "Plans for the break?" It's asked in a careful tone because it's a delicate subject for them. Harry hasn't seen Niall in almost 2 weeks, because as much as he loves his bandmates, he also needs time for himself. He needs some privacy. But seeing Niall being so careful about a question reminds Harry that he's not alone in this fucked up situation, so he bites back the sarcastic comment he would've usually spit out and just shrugs.
"Going out with friends. Might go back to LA. Maybe pay my mum a visit. You?"
"Going to visit me family in Ireland. Haven't seen them since we got back from tour."
Harry nods. "That's good. Always have to visit the family before going back on tour."
It's silent for a few moments before Niall speaks up, "Haz, do you...Do you think that we're going to be normal one day again?"
It hits Harry like a ton of bricks because it's such a different question. So unexpected. The thing is, Harry's dreamt of a normal life. He's dreamt of walking on the street, not being mobbed and papped and he's woken up craving that. That's a normal life for a normal person. But, Harry's life isn't normal. His life consist of paparazzi and living in hotels and not having a steady sleeping pattern and being mobbed wherever he goes and living out of suitcases and only seeing his family and friends small amounts of times and studios and award shows and everything a 21-year old doesn't usually have to go through.
And Harry doubts that when the band does end one day that everything is going to stop so he tries to keep his voice at one level when he finally answers, "No, Niall. We're always going to be One Direction."
He really hopes Niall can't detect the amount of hatred in that sentence.
Louis lays in his bed. His cover up to his ears and only his eyes peeking out from under the warmth the duvet is providing him. He lays on his side so that he can stare out of the window. It's raining.
Louis hates the rain.
Yet, he still stares out of the window that allows him to witness as the rain pours down onto the ground. Beside the sound of the heavy rain, nothing can be heard outside. Not even a car honking in the far distance and Louis hates that, too.
He wonders if the roof of the small apartment is leaking through as he feels water hit his cheeks but then he realizes it's his own tears and -
He needs to get out.
He needs to get out of this small town and he needs to get out. He needs to get away from the memories and strangers he doesn't know but still somehow fear and like every other night, he feels like he's having an anxiety attack, but it's only noon and Louis realized that the memories are taking over his life and if he doesn't get out he might as well make himself crazy.
So he pulls his covers off and sits up in his bed. Quickly wiping his eyes and slowly settles his feet on the floor. Immediately he searches for his phone which he has abandoned for about 4 days and when he finds it he erases all the messages he got from his mum. She's worried about him.
He's worried about himself.
He makes his way over to the closet in search for a bag and when he does find one big enough he throws random clothes and shoes in the bag.He walks towards his bathroom and when there, he only grabs the necessaries.
And that's really all he needs. So, he takes his phone and scrolls through his contacts and when coming onto the name that he was searching for he presses call, hoping it's still the same number.
It's ringing but it's taking too long and -
" 'lo, Louis?" It's uncertain and Louis is pretty sure he's shocked. They haven't spoken in years.
"Hey, Liam. I need a favor."
Harry spends the first week of his break at his mother's house in Holmes Chapel. It's quiet and relaxing and somehow exactly what he needs but when he goes out to take a walk there are still people asking for pictures and his autograph. It's like he's not the same boy that grew up in this exact same town only a few years prior and he wonders if someone will ever see him as Harry again instead of Harry Styles.
The second week he goes to London where he visits friends and goes out to clubs and he's papped on various occasions with a group of friends and somehow one of them always ends up being 'closer to him than the rest of them' and he's not sure if the media knowing that he's bisexual is a good thing or not. He supposes it's good that everybody accepts him the way he is. He puts up with the garbage being written about him in papers and social media and it's okay if he's around people who can distract him. It's when he's alone that everything gets too much.
The third week he disappears for a bit. He planned to go to LA and it's only when he's sitting in the airport's private lounge, ticket in his hand, that he decides to switch it up a bit. So, he buys a ticket to Cancún and sleeps for 16 hours when he arrives. It's not Summer or Spring break so the island is not packed with tourist and the locals are only half arsed with him and it's lovely, just relaxing and not worrying about people following him around. He spends the majority of his days on the beach in the sun with sunglasses on his eyes and nights he goes out to eat or enjoy the view from the hotel room and he really likes the third week.
When he's in LA the fourth week, he gets the call. It's on the third day he's back and when he sees who's calling he almost doesn't answer, but.
"What?" He snaps.
"Such a temper, Mr. Styles." Rings Mr. Johnson's voice at the other end of the line. "I thought you would've got rid of that temper in Cancún."
Harry just rolls his eyes. "What do you want?"
"I just called to tell you that you'll be receiving the tour schedule via email soon and we need you in London by the end of the week to go over your tour details."
After that, Harry can't enjoy the rest of the week and when he goes to a restaurant on the fifth day and walks straight through paps there is an article the next morning about how he's rude and ungrateful. He just simply groans and rolls his eyes.
When the day of the tour starts, Harry meets Niall and the band at Modest! Headquarters. It's an hour before they're suppose to depart and Liam hasn't shown up yet.
They're putting their bags in the two buses they'll be using. Seeing as how they're gonna be in Europe and the UK for almost 3 months. The first show is in Ireland and then Italy and after that Harry's not quite sure.
He didn't look at the tour schedule like he was suppose to.
When he had gotten back they had meetings of the tour details and what they'll be doing in between, like record the album and photo-shoots and Liam wasn't there.
Now that Harry thinks about it, he hasn't seen Liam since almost a month ago.
It's when he finally has his luggage packed away in bus 2, where they'll be sleeping, that Liam's black SUV rolls up.
30 Minutes before they should start.
Except, when Liam exist the vehicle there's another figure following him towards them and -
It's a boy. It's a boy with soft brown hair swept into a fringe and thin lips and blue eyes and - It's a boy who leaves Harry breathless. And the thing is, Harry doesn't believe in love, he gave up on that along time ago, but the boy is so beautiful and special. Harry can tell just by looking at him. There's a big smile on his face and crinkles by his eyes -
Yet, his eyes are empty.
Harry knows that look. He's seen it before. The ones who wears the biggest smiles usually has the most pain and Harry wonders for a moment why this absolutely breathtaking human bring could be sad but he's pulled out of his thoughts by Liam clearing his throat.
"Everyone this is Louis," He says and puts an arm around him. The boy, Louis, flinches for a moment when Liam's hand is around him before relaxing again. "And, he'll be joining us on tour."
Harry thinks this tour just got a lot more interesting.