I‘m just trying to remember how it feels to have a heartbeat.
After Harry finished a little spin, his gaze immediately looked for the exact blue eyes this song was written about. He needed to see Louis’ approving and proud expression. There was no other song on the album Harry was more insecure about.
The young man finished his song and tried to read what Louis thought of his performance. It had become some kind of a habit for them. Of course he always was proud and Harry knew that. But Louis was also his biggest critic. He would tell the younger man if something wasn’t right. Louis had such an impressive ear and sense for harmonies and all in all sound, never hesitating to tell Harry or his band to change a tiny note here and there. It always works. Harry would lie if he said that he wasn’t proud to call Louis his.
This time though, he was nowhere to be seen. Harry looked around searchingly. He knew that Louis had to be very careful not to be picked up by the camera, but he and the production team had found a few spots in the spacious studio where Louis could stand without being seen.
Though this time, Harry couldn’t find the Doncaster man. His heart began to beat faster. There probably was a perfectly fine explanation, like Louis having to take a wee. Or maybe he got a call from home. Of course that was more important than Harry’s song. He had heard it many times before, anyways. And still, Harry felt his stomach tense up. A big lump was building faster than he could process it.
“That was great, guys. Let’s have a little break and continue later. I’m sure we all could use some fresh air.” They were supposed to do Carolina next, but Harry just couldn’t concentrate anymore. He had to find his boyfriend and talk to him. Maybe something happened at home or Louis wasn’t feeling well. Either way, Harry needed to know what was going on.
Before the band had a chance to add something to his statement, he walked out of the studio onto the beach. His gaze lingered over the amazing sight in front of him. They came to Jamaica almost two months ago and his breath was still taken away when he realized how beautiful this place was. The studio was right at the beach. The crew and him had often jumped into the sea, after they finished another rehearsal, not even caring that they still had their clothes on. Sometimes they simply striped down to their underwear. No one cared much about appearance. They had a huge area to themselves. No need to worry about eyes that caught glimpses of what was supposed to be top secret. So why bother with clothes at all? God knows that Harry loved to go commando and surprisingly at least half of his band did as well.
Harry walked along the bridge that connected the beach with a little half island on which their cabins were located. He fished his phone out of his giant trousers and tried calling Louis.
Even my phone misses your call, by the way.
The feeling in Harry’s stomach got worse. A big part of him knew that nothing bad had happened, but there still was this dullness that he got every time something was going on he could quite understand yet.
He remembered the day Louis’ mom called to tell them about her illness. The thought of the tone in her voice still send a cold shower down Harry’s spine. Before she even told them what was going on, Harry knew that something was wrong. Very wrong and he still wished he would have reacted differently. He should have said something. Anything. Instead he just listened to her weak voice, cracking over and over again.
Harry shook his head. This was not the same. Louis was okay. His family was fine. They were good. He and Louis were in a great place. It wasn’t easy. It never had been easy for them, but the last year took the cake. They talked about everything, always. It wasn’t a simple task to bring Louis Tomlinson to let out his feelings, but when he finally did, it came with full force. Harry was used to it. One thing though, one quote, from a certain American woman, brought Harry to his limits. A limit he never thought he would reach. That was the time he had to decide what he wanted in his life.
I’m having your baby; it’s none of your business.
The day Louis came to the LA house and almost broke down even before he set a foot into the home they used to share. The memory was so vivid; Harry could almost feel Louis’ dead weight against his body. The dullness in his stomach didn’t leave for days. In the end though, it made them realize that they didn’t want to be without the other. It wasn’t all rainbows and flowers afterwards, but it was a step in the right direction. They started to get to know each other again. A necessity that both of them thankfully accepted.
“Louis? Are you in here?”
Silence. Harry took a deep breath. He looked around their cabin. It wasn’t big. The small lounge area with attached kitchen was empty. He looked outside the huge panorama window. The sun was going down slowly, the big ball of fire almost touching the surface of the sea. Harry continued walking down the narrow hallway to the bedroom.
‘Cause you left me in the hallway.
He hesitated in front of the door, sensing Louis’ presence. Suddenly he felt so unsure of everything. He knocked softly and waited, not daring to enter what was as much his space as it was his boyfriend’s.
“Come in.” Harry exhaled in relieve. Louis’ voice didn’t indicate any kind if distress. Nothing that made him feel uncomfortable. He opened the door and found the other man on the bed, facing him with a warm smile.
“Where did you go?” Harry asked quietly. Louis closed his eyes and that was the moment Harry’s stomach did its thing. Now he knew his first feeling of wrong. Louis was not okay. He wanted to run over to Louis’ side and take him into his arms. But all he did was stand in the doorframe looking at the man he loved so much it hurt.
“Come here, baby cheeks.” Harry obeyed without hesitation, walking over to his side of the bed and letting himself fall onto the soft mattress. Louis smiled a little wider. He leaned over and slung his arms around Harry’s body. They fitted into each other’s embrace with ease, despite the difference in height.
“’m sorry that I left. It was getting a bit too much.” Louis mumbled into Harry’s hair. He knew not to push. Louis would tell his story in his own time. Both men just enjoyed the closeness of the moment. Harry felt the soft touches of Louis’s fingers ghosting over the exposed skin on his chest.
Tell me something I don’t already know.
“I love the song. You sound so raw. It feels so honest.” Louis’ voice was soft. Almost like a whisper. “Maybe a bit too honest.” He paused again. Harry set up a bit, to look him into the eyes. He took his hands and lightly kissed his fingertips. A small moan escaped Louis’ lips and Harry smiled to himself.
“God, I can be such an idiot, I know-“ Harry shook his head straightaway.
“ Yes! I can. Don’t even dare to argue, babe. Like I said, this is my favourite song. And at the same time I hate it.” Harry tensed and he knew that Louis could feel it. “Let me finish please.” He softly stroked Harry’s head. A gesture that always had the same affect, Harry going completely limp.
“There are so many sides to this song. All are things I don’t like to be reminded of. First of all: There will be so many people that are going to connect these lines to the wrong person and that makes me furious.” Harry grunted. He definitely wasn’t looking forward to the questions that would be asked during promo. How much he just wanted to tell the truth, only Louis could probably understand.
“But what is bothering me even more, is the fact that the ones that make the right assumptions, will probably get the wrong picture of us. Us falling apart, not talking anymore. Hating each other, after being inseparable. There are so many people that literally watched the two of us falling for each other. After hearing this song, they will think it didn’t last long. That it didn’t work. And somehow they are right. It pains me to know that you wrote this song during a time I wasn’t a part of your life-”
“You have always been a part of my life, Lou.”
“I know babe, I know. What I mean is that we haven’t been the same. You hated me back then. Hearing you sing these words remind me of a time in which I could barely look at myself.”
Open your eyes, shut up and see.
“I would lie if I told you that there has never been a time in which I hated you. We were different people back then. It was a crazy time, both of us so fucking young. So inexperienced. The pressure from the outside and the pressure that we put ourselves under, was just too much. I loved you even during the worst times, almost as much as I hated you. I tried to find what we had, with others.” Harry’s eyes filled with tears. They had talked about a lot of things, but they never addressed the people they had been with, during the darkest time of their story.
“I met people, just like you did. We had to do that. I’m not sure how to explain it Lou, but we are not the same anymore. And that is a very important part of our present. We needed to learn. We needed to realize that others couldn’t give us what we needed. Believe me, I hate nothing more than not being able to openly tell our story, but until I…until we can, I’m willing to tell the outside what made me the man I am. It is a part of my story, my life. As much as you are.”
Swim before you drown.
Harry couldn’t stop the tears streaming down his cheeks. He let himself sink further into Louis’ chest. The older man hugged him tightly, still not saying anything. Harry knew he wasn’t ready. Knowing that someone you love had sex with other people is one thing, hearing him sing about it to millions of fans is another thing, but listening to said loved one talking about it, confessing his hatred for you was a whole other level of fucked up. Harry wanted to take it back, but he couldn’t. It was the truth and they promised each other exactly that. Telling the truth, being honest about their feelings and never bottling up any emotions until they erupt in a stream of words that can’t be taken back.
It was still a long journey, a long search for the right path. A way they are both comfortable to go. Going forwards was now the main goal, leaving everything behind them. The past may have helped them to become the people they are today, but it certainly didn’t define their future selves. That was a chapter that had yet to be written.
When I’m out of rope, you will bring me home.
“Sometimes I’m scared of how much I seem to need you.” Louis began talking and Harry relaxed just a little. He needed Louis just as much, even though it often didn’t look like it.
“I’m not the person, not the man I could be…I would like to be. You bring out the best in me. And I know how terribly cheesy this sounds, but I realized that I always had someone in my life that kept me on the right track.” The sudden silence told Harry that Louis was fighting with tears as well. Not looking him into the eyes, Harry entwined their hands. Nothing in this world would make the next words, Louis was about to say, lighter. The weight of the subject hovered over them ever since last December.
“After mom died I was lost. Everything had been shit. You and I still had to find a way to make- us work, I suddenly had a kid and one of the two most important people in my life was just gone. I tried to fill the gap the two of you left with hollow things. Party, alcohol, many people surrounding me. The work with Steve was great. It helped, but he isn’t you or mom.”
“I’m glad he was there, though.”
“Yeah, me too. Without him, god knows where I would be now. After all the hype was gone and everything settled again I still felt lost. Everyone got on with their lives and it looked so easy. I couldn’t find a way to cope. ‘m not even sure if I found one yet. I want to be there for you and I always will do my best, but today was just too much. I heard you sing that song. The one that you wrote about me and everything came back. Full force, without filter. I’m scared. Harry, I love you, but I’m scared. We didn’t come much further than we were four or five years ago. We still have to tell an alternative version of the truth, a thing that was the main reason for us to break up initially. Please tell me this time is different. That we are closer. Please tell me we can make it.”
And things are pretty good from here.
The concentration it took Harry to breathe was unbelievable. He wanted to promise Louis the world, but he couldn’t. He tried to find a way to show him how optimistic he was though. Slowly, he stood up from the bed, not letting go of Louis’ hand.
“Come with me, please.” He said and both men walked outside into the lounge. Harry led them outside the cabin. The sun had settled completely. Only the light of the reflection of the moonlight on the white sand brightened the area. It was just enough to be able to see each other. Harry didn’t need more. He could see everything he needed. Louis. His kind, sweet, smart, talented, sensitive Louis. Harry was aware of how incredibly young they still were, but he wanted to believe that this was forever. He leaned closer to Louis and kissed him softly. It wasn’t a passionate kiss but it felt better than anything he could have asked for.
“Same lips red, same eyes blue, that’s the most important thing of this song. You are Louis. My Louis. We change, that’s part of life. We are not who we used to be, but I promise you. We are not two ghosts standing in a place of you and me. We are real and alive. Together. I will fight for that with every ounce I have to keep you in my life. I need you as much as you need me. I know you don’t believe me, but it is the truth. Louis, I-” They kissed again. Both had said enough for one evening. A lot to process, a lot to take with them for the rest of their lives. Together they walked towards the studio. Harry had totally forgotten about the crew and now felt bad. He just wanted to apologized and wish everyone a good night, before walking back to their own cabin.
Should we just search romantic comedy on Netflix and see what we find?