September 4th, 1999
It was the first day of school, and Louis Tomlinson gripped onto his mothers hand tightly as she led him into the classroom filled with other children and their parents. The noise got louder as they approached, and as soon as they entered it was like a concert.
People were walking around and eating and drinking, people were standing around talking to one another. Is that was school was supposed to be?
"Mummy, why are all the parents here, I thought this was school?" Louis whispered to his mother, after pulling her down to say it quietly in her ear. She chuckled and patted Louis' head, "Sweetie, this is parent and teacher meeting day, the real first day is tomorrow." She explained.
Louis nodded, holding on tighter to her skirt. She gripped his hand and pulled it away from the fabric, "You wouldn't want to pants mommy, now, would you?" She asked, chuckling lightly. Louis looked away, embarrassed.
Jay led them to a bright-eyed women, with curly black hair that fell to her shoulders in perfect waves. She smiled as they approached. Jay and the women embraced, then bent down to be eye level with Louis, "Louis, darling. I'm sure we'll have lots of fun here tomorrow, and every day after that! Your first year of school is always the best and most enjoyable. You'll love it here, and you'll love the people, too. I promise." She said encouragingly.
Louis nodded again, and didn't say anything. He hid a little more behind his mother's legs. The teacher chuckled, "My name is Mrs. Robinson, Louis. Can you remember that?" She asked, he nodded for a third time.
She eyed Louis curiously before smiling and standing up, "He's a little shy." Mrs. Robinson said to Jay, making Jay's eyes droop down a little, "When he was younger, he was so outgoing, and the minute he hit five years old, it was like it disappeared."
"Did something happen?" Mrs. Robinson said a little lower, making Jay sigh and look towards Louis before she spoke, Louis didn't look up to meet her eyes, instead, he stared at the ground, "His father left. Just before he turned five." Jay explained in a small whisper, making it hard for Louis to hear.
He tuned them out the minute she said this, he didn't want to hear it again, he didn't want to go through it all over again. Why would he want that?
His mind flashed back to the day where he watched his father from the window, putting heavy-looking bags into the back of his Station Wagon. Louis waved to him in the window, and after his father looked down and wiped something from his eye, he looked back to Louis and waved silently.
Louis didn't know he wasn't coming back until the following week, when Jay had sat him down after countless times of him asking when he was coming home. He didn't want to relive it, but he always did. Every night it was the same thing over and over, he watched his father pull away and every time, he cried.
"Louis, Lou, sweetie." Jay was down at his level, and he looked up from the ground to meet her eyes, "Do you want to go get something to eat before we leave?" She asked, Louis looked up into the hopeful eyes of his new teacher, and then slowly, he shook his head and tugged on her hand, trying to drag her towards the door.
Jay sighed and stood up, "I'm sorry, Lessie." Jay whispered to his teacher, then they turned and walked through the crowd of eager students towards the door.
Louis was as eager to get out of there, so eager, in fact, that he didn't see another little boy come through the door, and he bumped into him, falling to his butt.
Louis looked up as the boy gasped and bent to help him up, "I'm sorry!" He scrambled to pull him up, but Louis ignored his help and jumped up from his feet on his own. The last thing he saw were the boys curly locks before he rushed out of the classroom, followed by a distressed mother.
The next morning, Louis was shaken awake by Jay, she whispered quietly, "Come on, Boo. You don't want to be late for your first day." He sighed and turned over to face his mother, her eyes read sorrow and worry, "Do I have to go?" He asked back in a quiet voice.
"Yes, sweetie." She sighed and leaned in to kiss his forehead, "Come on now, so I don't have to come get you again." He nodded and watched her leave, waiting a few moments before he slid from the warm confinements of his mattress to the cold dampness of his hardwood floors.
He looked down at his feet and wiggled his toes, wishing so much that he could crawl back into bed and sleep away the day.
But with a heavy heart, Louis pulled on matching socks and the outfit his mother had laid out for him the previous night, and dressed quickly.
A normal red, striped tee and a light pair of blue jeans. He wiggled into his sneakers and smiled as he tied the laces all on his own. His first smile of the day, and maybe wouldn't be his last.
He met Jay in the hallway as she came up the stairs, "Oh good, you're up. And my, do you ever look like a cute little boy." She gushed, he looked back down at his feet, trying to rid the blush creeping onto his cheeks, "I'm not a little boy anymore, mum. I'm a big boy. I go to school now."
She laughed as she held out her hand towards Louis, he gripped it tightly in his own as they headed back down to the kitchen. No matter how old he got, he always wanted to hold his mother's hand.
She smiled as she watched him crawl up into the chair and settle down, sitting on his knees, with his feet sticking out from under his arse. He picked up the orange juice his mother left him in a small glass, and gulped it all down in one go. She sighed as she placed a bowl of oatmeal in front of him, grabbing the empty glass from the table.
She filled it back up with water and watched as he picked at his food. He didn't look up to meet the eyes he knew were on him, instead, he picked up the spoon and placed a large fill of oats into his tiny mouth. He felt her eyes stray away.
He sighed quietly.
"Now, Louis. I want you to try and talk to someone today, okay? Don't sit by yourself all day, I want you to meet someone, make some friends. I know you can do it." Jay whispered as she crouched down towards him. They stood outside of the big elementary school, and he watched kids walk in the school with their friends. Not one person was walking in alone. Not yet, he knew he would.
Louis nodded, but didn't say anything, Jay sighed and pulled him towards her, gripping him in a hug. He hugged her back, uncaring what people said or thought about him. He would always hug his mother.
"I'll see you at noon, Boo." She said, and she stood up. He turned and walked towards the big building, its eerie cast of light on one side made him shiver, but he kept going. Near the doors, he turned and met her eyes again, he waved. She waved back, blowing him a kiss.
As soon as he turned around, he was met with Mrs. Robinson, his teacher. She smiled and held out her hand for him to grab, "I thought I'd take you in, would that be okay?" She asked. Louis smiled shyly and nodded, as he took her hand.
She led him just around the corner, and he sighed quietly to himself, glad the classroom wouldn't be hard to find everyday. She smiled down at him as he let her hand go, "Welcome to primary, Louis. I hope you meet some new lifetime friends. Did you know that's where I met your mum?" She asked, he shook his head as he looked up at her. Mrs. Robinson and his mum knew each other?
She nodded and came down to his height, "It's true, your mother and I went to school together, at this very school, and we met on our first day of primary. She was very nice and very shy, just like you. But so was I. I was scared on my first day, like many kids, but you'll always meet someone, Louis. I promise you'll meet someone." He smiled and nodded, and before he knew it, he was hugging her.
He didn't notice that he did until after it was done, and her arms were around him, too. She laughed, "You can talk to me any time you want, Louis. I'll always be there for you." She smiled and stood up again, calling out to the class to find somewhere to sit.
He turned around and smiled to himself, glad he already made a friend. Even if it was his teacher. He sat in the first seat he could find. It was way in the back, and it was all by itself. Nobody occupied the seat next to him, and he liked it that way.
He settled himself down and placed his backpack on the back of the chair, like his mum had told him to do this morning on the ride over. He twisted and looked to the classroom, watching all the students seating themselves down beside their friends.
Louis suddenly looked down at his hands crossed on his desk, he didn't want to watch anymore. As soon as he had looked down, he heard the chair next to him scrape across the floor, and he watched from the corner of his eye as another boy with dark, curly locks sat next to him.
"Hi." The boy said. Louis looked up into bright green eyes, and then looked back down shyly, not saying a word, "I didn't mean to knock you down yesterday, I didn't get to apologize completely before you ran off. I'm sorry." Louis looked up again into his eyes, but quickly shifted them to look at the bridge of the boys nose instead.
"It's.. okay." Louis whispered, then his eyes looked down at his hands again, but not before he saw the boy smile and push himself into the desk, facing his eyes on the teacher. Louis tried to keep his eyes down, but he found himself looking up sideways at the boy.
He watched him as he watched the teacher, and found himself smiling at the boy, as he smiled ahead, noticing a deep dimple in his cheek. Louis turned his eyes away, embarrassed.
He heard the room go silent, then it bustled with chatter and laughing kids. He looked up again, and saw as Mrs. Robinson had stopped talking and was passing around little pieces of paper. He hadn't heard the instructions, and was too embarrassed to ask, so he stared down at the blank white paper as Mrs. Robinson walked off.
"We're going to write out our names and decorate the paper, so we can stick it to our desks. That's how we'll know where we sit, and won't sit in the wrong place." The boy next to him explained. How did he know Louis hadn't heard the instructions? Instead of starting on his project, Louis turned to him and smiled.
The boy smiled back, but didn't say anything, "You're shy," Louis looked back down, and nodded towards the desk, the boy laughed, "that's okay, I am, too."
"You don't seem shy. You spoke to me." Louis said, before he could stop himself. He watched as the corners of the boys lips turned up, "Because I wanted to apologize. My mum always told me to apologize, no matter how scary or mean the kid looked." He explained.
"I don't look mean, do I?" Louis whispered, finally meeting the boys eyes again, and he smiled slightly as they lit up. The boy shook his head, "No, you're not mean at all. You're nice, I like you."
Louis quickly turned his eyes back to the paper, he didn't say a word. But the boy knew, and he turned back to his own paper. Louis looked up again, "I'm Louis."
"Harry." He said back, only turning his head slightly towards him, trying not to overwhelm Louis with too much contact.
Louis found himself smiling, and he liked the way it felt against his lips, against his cheeks, as they rose high up, almost to his eyes.
He was still smiling as he wrote his name on the paper in messy scrawl and drew little airplanes with lines coming from the back, so they looked like they were flying around and around the paper. Louis didn't know, but Harry was silently watching Louis draw and decorate the little piece of paper.
Louis and Harry both didn't know it yet, but they had a new friend.
September 5th, 2000
Well, the friendship lasted, it lasted the entire year and the summer, too. Louis found himself looking forward to going back to school, because this time, he knew he wouldn't walk in the doors alone, he knew he would be smiling throughout the day, not gluing his eyes down to his desk, willing the day to go by quickly.
Louis and Harry met at the front yard of the school, and waved as they came closer. Louis looked up to Jay and watched as she nodded, then he was off. He flew across the yard towards Harry, and they embraced, like they hadn't just seen each other the day before.
Anne, Harry's mum, smiled as wide as ever as Louis and Harry waved to their mothers and walked into the school together. Anne and Jay stood next to each other, their own friendship as strong as their son's.
This year, Mrs. Robinson hadn't met Louis at the door, because he knew exactly how to get to the classroom, and this time with Harry next to him, he hadn't needed her. She watched their friendship grow throughout the year, and often, Louis thought about what she said on his first day of school.
Maybe Harry would be his lifetime friend, like Mrs. Robinson and mum, Louis thought to himself. He smiled as they entered the classroom together, seeing Mrs. Robinson talking to a nervous little girl with blonde pigtails.
She looked up as they entered and waved with a big smile on her face, Louis and Harry both waved back, their smiles just as large, "Where do you want to sit, Louis?" Harry asked, looking around the room, "Next to you." Louis replied, making Harry smile widely and grip Louis' hand as he pulled him along through the room.
Harry settled down in a seat in the back, almost like the ones they sat in last year, and Louis sat down without complaint. He placed his new bag on the back of the chair, just like his mother told him, just like Harry did, too.
They chatted happily before Mrs. Robinson asked the class to settle down and find their seats. Louis and Harry faced forward, waiting for instruction, like always, "I see many lovely faces that I remember from last year," she paused and looked around the room, "I also see many new nervous faces. I want to remind everyone that first grade is just like primary, only you're one year older, and we start math this year. I don't want anyone to fret, because I'm sure you'll love it, just like you did last year, and just like you will for the remainder of schooling.
"I'm going to ask everyone to take out their colours, because we're going to be making signs with our names on them, but with a twist," she paused, and Louis listened intently to what she was saying, not missing it this year, "I want you to write two of your friends names on the paper, then decorate it all the same, make it look nice, because it'll be on your desk all year long."
Louis bit his lip, thinking hard. His eyebrows scrunched together. Who were two of his friends? He seemed to only have one, and that was all Louis wanted. He didn't need anyone else, he only needed Harry. What would he do?
Harry was already at work on his own paper, and he looked down to see his was already on his desk. He hadn't seen her pass them around. He sighed as he wrote his name in messy, but improving scrawl, then wrote Harry's name next to it. He stared down at the paper again, frozen.
"What's wrong, Lou?" He heard Harry ask, and he turned his head towards him and sighed, "I can't think of another friend. I only thought I had one." Louis said, looking at his hands.
"You don't need to put two friends, Harry. I didn't." Harry said, and Louis looked up again and turned his eyes to Harry's paper, where he wrote his own name, and then Louis' name beside his. But there were no other names, and Louis felt a joy creep into his stomach.
"I'm your only friend?" Louis asked, and Harry smiled and nodded, "I don't need anyone else." He explained. With those words, Louis turned and began to decorate his paper, smiling. Harry was right, he didn't need anyone else besides him.
December 18th, 2003
"I can't do it, mum." Louis grumbled as he tossed the paper to the floor. Jay merrily chuckled and received it from the floor, "You can, Louis. Unless you want me to do it." Jay asked, hoping for the answer she knew she'd get.
"No! I told him I'd wrap his gift, and he promised to wrap mine. It's only fair, and that would be cheating." Louis explained. Jay smiled and placed the paper in front of him, Louis sighed and tried again. He had gotten Harry a set of trains, and it was only a small box, so it couldn't be hard to wrap. Well, whoever said that was wrong, because Louis' forehead was scrunched together to form a few concentrated lines.
It was almost the end of school before Christmas, and Harry needed to get his gift by then, or else he wouldn't be able to give to him before Christmas break started. Louis was frowning as he pushed the paper down to form a bump, then packed a couple pieces of tape on.
Louis' fourth grade mind was much stronger than he thought, and maybe Jay was right, maybe he could do it. With weary eyes and a strong hold, Louis got the paper to stick onto the box, and you couldn't even see the box! Louis held up the finished gift to show his mother, "I did it!" He exclaimed.
"You did! Good job, Boo!" Louis groaned at the old nickname, making her laugh and get up from the kitchen table, and take the gift with her, "Where are you going with that?" Louis asked, Jay didn't answer straight away, instead she placed it on top of the cupboard, "It's going to stay right here, so you can give it to him tomorrow at school. Okay?" Louis nodded, hoping he wouldn't forget it.
Harry was going away to a deeper part in London to spend Christmas with his relatives living there. This was Louis' first Christmas without him since they met back in primary. It pained Louis to see him go, but was glad he'd be with his family.
Louis took one more glance at the gift, before he jumped from the chair and announced he was going to bed early, Jay waved him off with a goodnight, and she watched him slump up the stairs.
The next morning, Louis raced from his mothers car with the gift held tightly in his hands. He stopped in the yard and looked around for Harry. Then he heard someone call him, and he twisted in the snow, making a circle with his feet, to spot Harry waving at him from the bench, where he must have been seated.
"I wrapped it myself, just like I promised. There's even a bow on it." Harry said, smiling, as Louis approached him. Then Louis frowned as he stared at Harry's perfectly wrapped gift, then back at his own messy one. Not even with a bow! Harry noticed Louis' sudden frown and immediately asked him what was wrong.
"Mine isn't as good as yours. I didn't even get a bow for you." He said sadly, his eyes back to his feet, where he's tried so hard to keep away from. Louis felt a pressure on his hands and looked up to Harry, who was smiling. Harry flicked his eyes down to the gift Louis held in his hands, and Louis noticed the red sparkly bow Harry has just placed on it, "Now you do." He said.
Louis smiled and flushed a light red, then he held out his gift to Harry, "This is for you. Don't open until Christmas Day!" Louis ordered, pointing his finger at him. Harry laughed and took the gift, "I promise! The same goes for you, Lou!" He said, handing his own gift to him. Louis smiled and took it, shaking it by his ear, but no sound came back at him.
He frowned, "Aw." He said, "It's a surprise. I hope you like it." Harry said quietly. Then he gave out a soft gasp as he felt Louis' arms around him. He smiled and hugged Louis back tightly, "I'm going to miss you, Harry." Louis whispered.
"I'm going to miss you, too." Harry said just as quietly. They both jumped as the bell rang, and rushed inside out of the cold, just missing the lightly fallen snow beginning to land in their hair.
On Christmas Day, Louis jumped out of bed, eager to open Harry's gift. He ran straight downstairs to the tree and smiled as he saw the gifts that were piled underneath, and when he saw Harry's gift, perfectly wrapped, sitting atop another gift, he turned around and ran back upstairs and into his mother's room.
"Wake up, wake up, mum! It's Christmas!" Louis exclaimed, Jay sat up in her bed to face a beaming Louis, "I'm coming, I'm coming! But we're eating breakfast first!" Jay said over Louis' excited talking.
He groaned and ran back downstairs, she followed quickly. She found him sitting at the table, nearly bouncing with excitement. She figured she'd give him something small, so he wouldn't scarf it down and make himself sick. She poured him a glass of juice, and simply gave him two waffles, hot from the toaster oven, and a granola bar. He smiled at her as she sat down next to him, drinking her coffee.
He tried to eat as slow as possible, so his mother wouldn't scold him, and as soon as he chugged down his juice, he looked at her hopefully, she sighed but nodded her head. He beamed again and yelled out, "Thanks, mum!" He raced back to the tree and picked up Harry's gift, uncaring about the others under the tree.
It was a little gift, smaller than Louis', and the wrapping paper was simple, a red background with green Christmas trees patterned over it. He smiled as he sat on the couch, and slowly began to take of the paper, being careful, not wanting to tear it.
He didn't notice, but Jay stood at the opening of the kitchen, watching him be as gentle as a cat.
He took a deep breathe before he pulled the paper from the box, and laid his eyes on a normal looking brown box, but there was an envelope, too. He opened that first, and pulled out a handwritten letter.
He smiled as he read.
I know this is really simple, but I really want you to like it. If you don't, that's okay too. In the little box is a handmade bracelet. It took me the entire month of November to make it! I know, that's a long time! Once I knew what I wanted to get you, I started on it straight away. I didn't care if you were getting me anything, but once I knew you did, I wanted us to share something, so I asked us to wrap it ourselves. It gives it more meaning, you know?
Anyway, Louis. This bracelet is made with lots and lots of love and care from me. But it's also made from some yarn I found in my attic, and if you look closely, it's different colours! It's really pretty, and if I didn't want to give it to you so bad, I'd keep it for my own. I even added something of my own to it, I put beads on it, they're little silver charms, each one symbolizes something that reminds me of you. There's only three, but I hope you like them.
I'm going to explain them to you, though, because I don't want you to get confused. Open the box, Louis.
Louis stopped reading and quickly opened the little box, and with careful fingers, he pulled out the bracelet. Harry was somewhat right, but the bracelet wasn't pretty, Louis found it quite beautiful. He smiled at it and admired each detail, but looking at the charms, he looked back to the letter.
Did you open it, Lou? Okay, good. Look at the little cube charm, it has the first few letters of the alphabet on it. I know it doesn't make a lot of sense now, but listen. Remember in primary, the first day when I bumped into you? Those letters are as few as you let me shove in before you took off. Don't think of it as a hurtful meaning, because I laugh whenever I think of that. You were so shy!
Louis smiled to himself unknowingly, he read on.
Look at the little #1 charm, that one reminds me of back in second grade, when we had to write two of our friends names on the paper she gave us. We both only had one friend, and we still do only have one friend, each other. That one makes me feel number one, you get it? You're my number one friend, Louis.
There's only one more charm, Louis. I wanted to get more, but none of the others I could find looked like they held meaning to our friendship, so I only got three, I hope you don't mind. The last one is really simple. It's a little ring. A circle. It looks confusing now, I know. But I wanted that one to mean something more than a #1 and a cube with the letters on it. So I thought about it, and well, this is what I came up with.
I wanted that one to mean our friendship, like how it's always a strong hold, like a circle. Do you get it? I hope you do, because I'm finding trouble explaining. You know how a circle never breaks, and it has no rough edges and no creases or breaks? Because it's really strong, super strong! That's what I'd like to think of our friendship, strong and unbreakable.
Anyway Louis, I hope you like this little gift, I really do. I'm going to love yours, I don't care if it's a scrap of paper or a hair tie, I already do love it. Thank you for being my friend, Louis.
Louis looked up from the paper and down to the bracelet, made with yarn and care, filled with silver beaded charms and love. Louis smiled so wide it hurt, and quickly jumped from the couch to run to his mother, she smiled as he approached, "Why, look at the lovely bracelet. Is that from Harry?" She asked, although she knew.
He nodded and held it up to her, then stuck out his arm, "Can you put it on me, please?" He asked, she put down her cup and nodded, "Of course I may." She took the bracelet from him and wrapped it around him arm, clasping the little stick through the even smaller opening to make it stay on. He smiled as he pulled his arm away, staring at the bracelet.
He held the letter tightly in his hand, and ran from the kitchen, straight to his room, where he placed the letter on his desk right in front of his first picture he had with Harry, back in the second grade, at the end of the year. He made sure the paper wasn't covering the picture, then stepped back to admire it once again.
He found his eyes back to the bracelet, he loved it. He loved every inch of it, the scratchy yard and the cold charms. He loved it so much! He couldn't wait to thank Harry.
Louis raced to the phone and took it from Jay with a small, "Thank you." He placed it to his ear and breathed out, "Harry?"
"Hi, Louis!" He heard from the other side, making Louis smile, "Merry Christmas, Louis." Harry said, and Louis tugged at his ear with concentration, "Merry Christmas, Harry." He said back. He heard the even chuckle from the other side, and then, "I really, really like the train set you got me, Louis. There were ones there that I never seen before! It looks great with my collection. Thank you!"
Louis smiled so wide it nearly hurt, "My gift will never compare with yours, Harry!" He heard the booming laugh from his best friend, then Harry spoke again, "Of course it does. It's only a bracelet."
"Only a bracelet? You forgot about the lovely letter, Harry. I love it so much, I can't thank you enough. Really!" He added on, when he heard Harry sigh quietly.
"Are you sure it wasn't.. too weird?" Harry asked, Louis tugged harder on his ear, "Of course not, Harry. I love it, and I'm never taking it off." He told him, he could almost see the smile he knew Harry had on the other side.
"It counts as a birthday gift, too." Harry said, making Louis laugh this time, "It counts for next years birthday and Christmas gifts, too. It's worth that much to me." He exclaimed happily. He heard Harry chuckle on the other side, "I'm really glad you like it, Lou."
"Of course I do." He said quietly. It was silent for a minute.
"Marry Christmas, and happy birthday, Louis. Will you call me again on my birthday at this number?" He asked, Louis smiled and let his hand drop from his ear, all edge of nervousness gone, "Of course I will Harry. Marry Christmas."
And he would. He would write it down, even, He wouldn't forget.
June 24th, 2007
"Harry, Louis, come get a picture!" Jay called to the two boys as they stood to the side, chatting away. They looked up at the sound of their names, then groaned, but came to stand for a picture.
"Smile!" Anne said to them, and they broke out into happy grins, reaching their ears, their arms around each other. They finally were done middle school, the many nights they stayed up studying and talking over the phone to help one another with the studying, usually with a test the other has already done.
Eighth grade was officially over, and today's graduating ceremony was proof that they'd both passed. Although at this point, it was harder to act as close as they were in school, because the looks and gestures they sometimes shot out were apparently wrong, and they got many stares and curious questions about the way they acted towards one another.
They both tried to shy away from the fact that it bothered them, but they both knew it did, and they became a little distant. But after nearly a month of being distant, with no more phone calls or test help, or even sleepovers or hanging out at all, they dropped the act and went back to their old ways. Ignoring the stares and laughing kids, and they made their way through middle school, although it was tough, but they always pulled through, because they had each other.
Anne and Jay beamed down at the picture and Louis and Harry took a small step back from each other, they smiled at the ground, "Want to do something later?" Louis asked, he got a shrug from Harry, and he knew that was a yes, even if he didn't say anything. The eyes of the other students were always watching.
Louis fingered the bracelet, although a little more frayed, with pieces of yarn sticking out from the sides, Louis kept his promise and never took it off, except to shower, of course. Harry eyed his hand as he twisted it around the bracelet and looked away, smiling.
Harry found it hard to believe he kept it all these years, even after people found out what it was and who it was from, even after they teased Louis that him and Harry were lovers, he never, ever took it off. It made Harry feel special, and knew Louis was a lifetime friend.
Mrs. Robinson rushed over to the two boys then, having grown so close to them and their families, she attended their ceremony, even when she stopped teaching them by the fifth grade. She hugged both boys tightly to her, her hair not so dark black anymore, and having been dyed back to the brown it used to be as a kid. Her eyes and skin not so lively and clear anymore, but her smile still as bright as ever.
"I can't believe you two are off to high school. I remember the first day, Louis. For you, too, Harry. I will always remember each and every class with you two, I'll never forget either of you, and though you two still have a bond as strong as ever, I never want you to think about what those kids say to you, because both of you know something deep down, and I knew you're shying away from being alive, and that's okay, for now.
I want both of you to know that I'll always treat you as my own, and I love you both very much. I've watched you boys grow from the moment I laid my eyes on you. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, and live through high school, because it's the fastest three years of your lives."
She finished her heartfelt speech with giving each boy another tightly gripped hug and a kiss to the forehead. Tears glistened her eyes as she waved to them, and walked off. Neither boy knew it, but Lessie Robinson was dying, she was dying of Cancer to her brain, and it was too late to save her. She didn't want their special day to be ruined with such news, so she never told them.
They smiled as they watched her go, thankful for her in their lives. They never mentioned it to each other, but they were pondering over what she said, shying away from being alive. What did that mean? They wondered to themselves over and over again for the next month, and still never got to know by the time they got that call, the call that changed their lives forever. Lessie Robinson has passed away.
Louis and Harry cried alone in their rooms that night, and the next night, and the next. As soon as summer started, they spent more time together, and cried a couple more times, in the arms of each other. They attended her funeral with a heavy heart, but neither shied away from crying. They didn't want to, they knew Mrs. Robinson wouldn't want them to hold it in, she wanted them to live.
So they did.
March 7th, 2010
Their first two years of high school came and went, and they knew Mrs. Robinson was right, so they lived it up. They got their good marks, they joined some school teams, and even met a few new people who they really liked. But their friendship never died. They always said hello to each other in the hall, they always were there for each other if the other needed them, they never left the others side, even if they were angry with each other.
One spring day, Louis was dodging someone's fist in the parking lot, dropping to the ground so the guy missed. Harry has sprinted over and demanded to know what was going on. This guy probably didn't know it, but Harry had taken many classes of karate over the course of their high school days.
But Louis knew it. Louis smiled as he stood up again, but feigned anger, for which Harry picked up on at the quick wink Louis shot him, "Harry, I can take care of myself." He spat. Harry played along quickly, "I know you can, I just wanna know what's going on." He defended.
The guy who had tried to punch Louis laughed loudly, "Hey, look here everyone, Louis' boyfriend Harry has come to the rescue, looks like I owe Mark ten bucks." The guy shrugged and smirked. Louis sighed and crossed his arms, toying with the bracelet sitting on his wrist without noticing what he was doing.
The guy smirked wider, "What's this? Is this the bracelet I've been told about? Didn't you get it in the fourth grade?" He snickered and tore the bracelet from Louis' arm. Louis' anger wasn't faked anymore, "Hey! Give that back to me!" He held out his hand.
Anger bubbled inside Harry, and he fought to control it, "Why should I? Is your wimpy boyfriend going to take it back from me? Go ahead, try!" He directed the last sentence to Harry, and Harry turned to Louis, begging to hit him. Louis licked his lips and sighed, nodding silently. Quickly, without thinking it through some more, Harry turned and swung his fist straight for the guys mouth.
He stumbled, but didn't fall. The guy got his own punch in, but Harry didn't back down. Louis gasped, then began to laugh as Harry twisted on his heel and swung his leg up to knock him down on his ass, the bracelet fell from his grip and slid across the ground. Harry received it, and quickly tugged on Louis' arm, dragging him away from the messy scene.
"Harry, he hit you!" Louis said as soon as Harry got in the drivers seat of his car. Louis crossed his arms, the bracelet held tightly in his fist, "It doesn't matter, I'm fine." He stated.
"Let me see, then." Harry sighed but turned his head towards Louis. He looked into Louis' bright blue eyes as he looked over the mark on his right cheekbone. Louis tsked quietly to himself and tried to wipe the blood from his cheek, as it trailed down his face to his mouth.
"I think he had a ring on." Harry said, not taking his eyes from Louis'. As suddenly as Louis started, he pulled away and sat back in the passengers seat, tying the bracelet back on his tiny wrist, "You're letting me clean that when we get back."
Harry smiled and didn't argue. He missed Louis' touch on his face as soon as he pulled away. Louis didn't know it, but Harry had slowly fallen for Louis, each and every day since primary, Harry had grown attached, and he needed a friend in his life. Louis filled the gap in his heart so warmly, and it touched Harry.
Louis has been there when he got his back molars removed in 9th grade, and he had been there when Harry broke his arm trying to climb a tree back in 6th grade. Louis has always been there for Harry, and although it pained Harry so deeply, he knew that Louis would never feel the same way towards him.
He sighed as he drove on the freeway towards home, and Louis, thinking it was Harry's pain from the punch, asked him if he was okay. With glistening eyes, Harry nodded, causing Louis to nod back and glue his eyes back to his shoes.
Harry had tried so hard to keep his eyes from his shoes, and notice the beautiful world around them. The way the birds woke up every morning with their songs, the way the wind whistled through the night during a storm, but having a rainbow brighten up the sky and tell them that everyone was still okay, and still beautiful, even after a really nasty one.
Even in primary, when Harry had noticed Louis' eyes were always down, he wanted to be the one to bring them up, and for awhile, he was. He always caught Louis' smiling to himself and staring straight ahead at the world, even admiring nature a few times. But as soon as they'd entered middle school, Harry had noticed Louis' eyes trailing back to his shoes more often than not.
Once the people started to make fun of the way he dressed and the way his voice never lowered once he hit a certain age, it began to get worse. Harry tried desperately to change that, and as soon as Mrs. Robinson had died, it was like Louis wasn't Louis anymore. He wasn't always smiling, he wasn't laughing at stupid things that Harry did, and he wasn't admiring the world anymore.
No matter what, Harry couldn't seem to change him back, but time wasn't up yet, they still had time together. Harry still had time.
January 19th, 2011
The winter formal was coming just around the corner, and Harry was desperate to attend. But he didn't just want to attend, he wasn't to arrive. Arrive with Louis on his arm. So, desperate, Harry asked Louis the week before the formal, "I was thinking, since we're both dateless, if you'd go to the winter formal with me?" He had spoken so quietly, Louis had to strain to hear him, and when he did, he laughed.
"I thought we were going together anyway?" He asked, making Harry's eyes light up, "I mean.. I mean with you, though."
"So did I." Louis had whispered back, a smile on his lips. Harry didn't know what he meant by it, but he didn't care at the moment, he was as happy as ever. Louis had blushed and trailed his eyes across his own little room, in which they sat in, and brought them back to his shoes.
Louis was trying to hide the light flecks of red across his face as Harry leaned back against the wall. Louis looked at his toes, and wiggled them, thinking of the winter formal.
Harry didn't know it, but Louis was deeply fond of Harry. He loved the way Harry's eyed lit up every time Louis said something funny, or even spoke to him at all. He loved the way Harry flushed so deeply whenever Louis toyed with his bracelet. He loved the way Harry always smiled and laughed, showing the adorable dimple Louis had grown to love so much. Harry didn't know it, but Louis loved Harry.
Louis wondered about his feelings towards him when the rumours went around that they were lovers. Louis has thought about it so often to himself as he lay in bed at night. He always loved Harry, but like a brother. Could he love him as more?
His heart and mind were so young, so he pushed these thoughts away and ignored the rumours that spread around the school about them. But as soon as he hit high school, he began to wonder again, and it brought his mind to the days in primary, when Harry had spoken to him whether Louis spoke back or not.
Louis had always admired the way Harry saw the world. He always saw it as a bright and wonderful place, whether there was war or there were storms, he always saw the rainbow after it was over, and he wished he could see it the same way. He's tried before, many times, to see the rainbow at the end of the storm, but he never saw it the same way Harry did.
His eyes always met his shoes, whether he could stop himself or not. He's memorized every pair of shoes he had, and could point them out in a pile with one hundred pairs mixed together.
He loved Harry, and he couldn't stop the feeling from bursting free anymore, and the moment he let himself accept it, Mrs. Robinson's words jumped out at him, the way she smiled with tears glistening in her eyes when she said, ".. both of you know something deep down, and I know you're shying away from being alive.."
He's never let himself forget it, and he never will. Louis loved Harry so much, and although it pained him to even think it, he knew that Harry would never love him the way he did.
The night of the winter formal arrived and Louis found himself being very anxious and nervous. He wanted so badly for this to go well, since it was his last year of school. He wanted to have fun and enjoy each and every single event that he attended. More or less, he also wanted Harry to enjoy himself, even if he didn't know it. He wanted Harry to enjoy himself with Louis.
Louis stood in front of his full length mirror, staring at the face in front of him, he turned his attention to the black suit and tie ensemble he wore. He smiled slightly. The first smile of the night, and hopefully not his last. He stared down at his bare feet and remembered the way he wiggled his toes on his first day of school 12 years ago. He remembered like it was yesterday. With the same smile on his face, he looked at his feet in the mirror and wiggled his toes.
Harry was just as nervous, his last name may be Styles, but his style was terrible. He had called Anne in to help him with his suit and tie. He didn't know if the blue one or black one would go best with his black suit, he thought maybe the colour splash would be better, but he would be more James Bond with the black tie.
She laughed and stood behind him, staring into the mirror, "Black, sweetie. I think black would look best." He had turned and hugged her tightly, towering over her after many years of growth spurts, "Thanks, mum. For everything." He whispered.
Harry pulled up in front of the school and was immediately greeted by his pals, the ones he knew for years, but not as long as he knew Louis. Harry suddenly had a twinge of nervousness enter his stomach, he was nervous? To see Louis?
He smiled as his friends spoke to one another, only he knew that his smile wasn't directed to them.
Louis pulled up not too later than Harry had, and quickly made his way inside from the cold. He didn't have as many friends as Harry, but he greeted the few he knew as he entered.
The first thing Louis noticed was the gym, its bright lights reflecting around the gym, shining across the large floor. The disco type lights showing the most light. The streamers hanging from the ceiling, and the balloons being kicked around by the students. The second thing Louis noticed was Harry. His black suit, and the way he pulled his hair up from his face to make a curly fringe. But adding the bandana, nonetheless.
Louis smiled without noticing, and that's when Harry had turned his head to notice Louis. Harry smiled immediately and waved at him, Louis turned quite shy and stared down at his black dress shoes. Harry frowned and said goodbye to his friends, making his way over to Louis.
"Your shoes are hardly the best part about your outfit tonight, Lou." Harry whispered as he came close. Even over the booming music, Harry was all Louis heard. Louis finally looked up from his shoes, "You look quite dashing yourself, Styles." He winked and Harry laughed.
"You even made your hair different." Louis absentmindedly reached up to fix a stray curl, popping it back up to his head, and Harry smiled, staring at Louis deeply. Louis took his hand away and put it behind his back with his other.
"You changed your hair, too." Harry said, Louis shrugged, "It doesn't look that different." Harry rolled his eyes, "Of course it does, would I have noticed otherwise?" Louis didn't say it, but he knew Harry would have noticed, Harry notices the little things, he always had.
"Thanks." Louis said shyly, "Don't get shy on me now, Lou! Let's dance!" He called over the music, and Louis nodded, letting him tug him out onto the floor. As soon as they settled on a spot, the music switched from a loud and bursting song, drumming the floor with the beat, to a slower song, and they turned to see the couples grab hold of each other and hold each other close.
Louis and Harry froze, unsure of what to do, "Uh, refreshments?" Louis asked quickly, and Harry nodded slowly, they both left the floor.
Harry sighed quietly as they reached the refreshment table, and Louis didn't hear it. Harry wishes he could tell Louis how he felt, but it would ruin everything. Their friendship, especially. He hated the way these feelings ate at him and he wishes they'd just go away. But that was impossible now, they'd never leave. Not while he was friends with Louis. Just friends.
Harry looked away from his punch and noticed Louis fingering his bracelet, not drinking or eating anything, Harry bumped his shoulder into his, "You okay?" He asked quietly, Louis just nodded. Harry set his drink on the table and gripped Louis' arm in his hand, and dragged him out of the gym and down the hallway, and down another hallway. They got so far from the gym, they couldn't even hear the music anymore, "'Harry, what is it?"
Louis was frantically asking, did Louis do something wrong? Why was Harry dragging him away? Louis wanted answers, so at a certain point, Louis planted his feet and stopped Harry in his tracks, "Harry, I don't understand what you're doing." Louis said breathlessly.
"Louis.." Was all Harry could muster out, Louis sighed and looked up into Harry's eyes deeply, feeling the deep green of them rub into his blue ones, he was lost for words.
"Harry, I-" Louis didn't get to finish, because Harry was kissing Louis. Harry Styles was kissing Louis Tomlinson, and Louis couldn't believe it. He was nearly frozen, frozen until he felt Harry bite gently onto his lip, and that's when he began kissing back. Harry was kissing Louis, and Louis was kissing back.
They were both breathless, and that's when Harry pulled back. He pulled far enough back, that Louis could see his entire face, all of the features he had fallen in love with. Harry was smiling and looking down at his own shoes.
Louis stepped forward towards Harry, "You always told me not to look at my shoes, what gives you the right to look at yours?" With those words, Harry's head was back up and Louis' lips were locked with his once again, his body smashed against Harry's.
Mrs. Robinson was right about many things, so many things. She'd seen the way Louis and Harry acted before they did, she'd seen the love in their eyes before they did. She saw Louis and Harry falling in love slowly, that's what she was saying at their 8th grade graduation, she was saying she watched them from primary, but she watched them from primary slowly fall in love.
It was so slow, Harry and Louis didn't know it was happening. But she did, how did she know? Louis and Harry would never know, and even after years of knowing her, they'd never known the way Mrs. Robinson lived, with her wife and her son. They'd never quite paid enough attention.
Except for the way Louis saw Harry, the little things, and the way Harry saw Louis, all the way to the big things. From charm to suits and ties. From drawing little air planes, flying around a sheet of paper, to a worn out yarn bracelet, falling perfectly against Louis' wrist, where it'll sit forever.
Louis met his lifetime friend, and his lifetime partner.