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When the Letters Stop

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“Harry, what’s wrong?” He still hasn’t told Louis, but he seems to be catching onto Harry’s odd behavior. Harry knows he’s being unreasonable, but he’s scared that when he moves to the U.S. Louis will forget him. “I have to tell you something, Lou.” He chokes out, heart beating fast. “My dad, he took a job in the States; and well, I’m going to be moving there soon.” Louis’ face fell, he wasn’t expecting that.

Louis and Harry have been friends since they were innocent toddlers. Harry remembers seeing a moving van outside and thinking yay a new friend. As soon as the van came to a stop Harry ran out of the front door, across the street, and into Louis’ arms. Louis almost toppled over from the force of Harry running into him and hugging him so tight. He hugged back though because wow who is this, a new friend, he’s sweet, I think I’ll keep him. So ever since that day they were inseparable, and now it’s eleven years later, they’re just as close, and nothing has changed. Except now; since Harry is moving.

They have a week left, so they spend it partying, ignoring the fact that they’ll soon be separated by an entire ocean. They promised each other they would write every day, since phone calls would cost a fortune. Of course there will be visits here and there, but mostly the only communication will be through letters, emails, and occasional Skype calls. We’ll be okay, they try and reassure themselves.

Before they know it, it’s Harry’s last day, and on that day he tries so hard not to cry. So, he holds back the tears through all his goodbyes with his school friends, he holds back the tears when he says goodbye to Louis’ mom, Jay, and Louis’ younger sisters, and he holds back the tears, threatening to fall even more so now, through his goodbye with Louis. “It’s not forever; I’m going to come home you know.” He tells Louis, so sure of himself. Louis just nods, knowing it’s true. Of course Harry will come home. He can’t be without Louis for more than a day, how will he survive without him for the years to come? But then Harry’s leaving, walking out of Louis’ front door, and hopping into his dad’s car, that’s heading straight to the airport.

Surprisingly, Harry didn’t cry on the plane ride. He made it all the way to his new front door, into his new bedroom, in his new house. But when he looked out the window, and didn’t see the familiar house across the street, well that’s when he broke. Harry loved Louis more than you could ever imagine. Ever since he tackled Louis to the ground, on the day he moved in across the street, Harry had known. He had known he never wanted to be without the older boy. Louis protected him like no one else could. Louis knew Harry better than anyone else did. Although, one thing Louis never did notice was exactly how much Harry actually loved him.

The first couple of months go by in a blur. Harry is just trying to adjust to his new life. He makes a couple of new friends, the girls fall head first over his pretty accent, and things seem like they’re going to be okay. Louis emails him every day like he’d promised, and Harry always replies like he had promised. They’re just as good of friends as they were when they lived a few feet away. Nothing’s changed, except the fact that they’re in different countries now, but it’s fine, everything’s okay.

It’s been six months since Harry moved to the U.S. They still talk every day, everything’s the same and Harry is happy. Then, Harry’s dad comes into his room one night after dinner and tells him, “It’s winter break at school, so you’re off for a couple of weeks and Louis’ birthday is coming up… So I bought you plane tickets to go up there for his birthday.” If Harry was happy before, he’s ecstatic now. The first thing he does is thank his dad multiple times, maybe more than necessary, then he decides I think it’ll be okay to call, this is a special occasion, yeah it’s okay.

So he grabs his phone and dials the number he knows by memory, listening as it rings, waiting for Louis to answer. “This better be a big deal mate, this is going to cost me my paycheck.” Louis blatantly states as soon as the ringing stops. Harry laughs because he misses Louis’ voice so much and then sighs contently, “Yeah, yeah, now listen. I got you something for your birthday and you’re just going to love it!” Louis makes a ‘mhmm’ noise signaling for Harry to continue on. “My dad got plane tickets and I’m coming to see you! Isn’t that great, Lou?” Louis can practically hear Harry smiling through the phone and so he laughs. “Okay,” Louis declares, “this is worth my paycheck. I’m so excited Haz, what a great birthday gift.” And Louis says it with such sincerity that Harry’s heart swells, because well, he’s just so excited.

When Harry’s plane lands Louis is there to pick him up. He’s staying for a week, and they’ve decided to make it the best week ever. They do all the things they used to and it feels like forever since they’ve gotten to do them, despite the fact it’s only been a couple of months. They go to their special coffee house and order two peppermint hot chocolates like usual, then they go sit in the park on their special bench, and just let the warmth take over their bodies. Harry feels at home. He’s missed this so much; he’s missed Louis so much.

It’s Christmas Eve, and also Louis’ birthday. He’s turning nineteen now, which seems so old compared to how young they were when they met. They sing happy birthday to Louis and bring out a cake, and while Louis blows out the candles and while everyone’s saying, “make a wish,” he smiles because his wish had already come true, Harry was here for his birthday. The day after Christmas is Harry’s last day there. So they spend Christmas morning bundled in blankets and drinking hot tea by the fire, while opening their gifts. Harry smiles at the familiar sense of it all. They talk all night long and make up for lost time and times to come that’ll be spent apart.

Then Harry’s back at home and it’s like he moved all over again. Except this time, it’s harder. He’s had a taste of home and he misses it so much more now. All he can do is write Louis about it though, his friends here aren’t very helpful, they just don’t understand. Except, maybe one of them.

His name is Niall Horan, he’s from Ireland, and so he knows what it’s like to be so far from home. Harry had met him three months after he moved to the states. He was walking through the school and heard the thick Irish accent all the way down the hall. They hit it off right away when Niall was assigned to be Harry’s lab partner. Harry thinks it’s because Niall is just a great lad and is very hard to not like. He’s one of those always cheerful kids that just want to have fun. So when Harry isn’t talking to Louis, he’s hanging out with Niall.

And it seems like Louis was making more friends since Harry’s been gone as well. One night Harry got an email from Louis that had some information he just didn’t want to hear.

Dear Harry,
So, guess what, Haz! I met this girl, her name is Eleanor and she’s so fit, really sweet too. Liam introduced us actually; she’d been in one of his classes and thought I’d be into her. He thought right cause, man I think I really like her. We’re going on a date Saturday and I’m excited but kind of nervous as well, I haven’t been on a proper date in a while. Anyways, what about you Harry, I bet all the American girls love your posh accent.

No, Harry’s heart definitely did not break as he read the words over again and again. Yeah, of course Louis’ had girlfriends, but Harry was always around for that. He still had Louis even though there was a girl involved. But now, Harry wasn’t there at all, and this Eleanor girl has got Louis all to herself. Harry didn’t like that at all. But all he could do was tell Louis how happy he was for him, and tell him to have fun, and if Harry told him “behave yourself, Lou” then that’s okay, right?

It’s been a year and a half since Harry moved and it’s been two months since Louis stopped replying to his emails, letters, and even his calls or texts. He never gave up trying though. He would attempt to contact him in some sort of way every day. He didn’t care if that seemed pathetic, he would never stop trying because it’s Louis, his Louis. He was scared Louis forgot him, was scared Louis moved on and was happy enough with Eleanor, and he was especially scared that Louis never wanted to talk to him again. Had Harry done something wrong? Said something wrong? Why was Louis doing this?

Up until two months ago everything was fine. They talked at least once a week, with them so busy with school and time differences and blahblahblah. But when they did talk it was like it had always been. They were still best friends, still told each other everything, well Louis might’ve told Harry a little more than he wanted to hear sometimes, but it was all great. So why was Louis ignoring him? Maybe he got grounded, Louis’ always getting into trouble Harry thought to himself. But Louis’ birthday is coming up again; and he missed Louis too much and he just had to see him.

So Harry took out all the money he’d been saving and decided that it was time. Louis had to know how Harry felt; he couldn’t hold it in any longer. Harry bought plane tickets before he could change his mind and packed his bags. He told his dad and with his approval he was off towards home.

He didn’t try and tell Louis he was coming, he wanted it to be a surprise. So when he got off the plane, he grabbed his luggage, and walked outside into the cool England air, he called a cab over and told the driver the address he knew so well. Then he was there, this was it. He knocked on the familiar wooden door that he’s missed so much and he doesn’t even know why, it’s just a door right?

Jay answered the door and immediately Harry could tell something was wrong. She didn’t wear that welcoming smile she usually did, and suddenly he felt like he did something wrong. After a few seconds of silence, and Jay just standing there, he spoke up, “I um, I just I missed Louis so much and I have to tell him something and I’m sorry for just showing up, but I wanted it to be a surprise.” He rambled on and the look in her eyes is what made him stop midsentence. He saw a pool of sadness, a hint of pain, and a glint of guilt.

“What’s wrong? Is everything okay? Is Louis okay? Jay, please answer me.” Harry questioned and pleaded. Jay just shook her head, looking down, she finally spoke in a whisper, ”Darling, why don’t you come inside.” So he nodded and she moved aside to let him through the door. He made his way to the living room and she gestured for him to sit on the couch. She finally made eye contact with Harry and she wore the same look, but her eyes were a bit more sympathetic now. “I meant to call, I really did. But I’ve been so busy lately, it’s been so hard.” Harry was so confused, he just wanted to talk to Louis, where was Louis? “Louis was in a car accident two months ago.” Harry’s face contorted into a look of pain and his stomach dropped, he felt sick all of a sudden, like he’s had the wind knocked out of him. “It was, fatal.” That’s when it clicked in Harry’s head. Louis hadn’t responded to him because he couldn’t. Louis couldn’t respond, because Louis was dead.

He didn’t know what was happening before he was past the front door, down the street, and to the bench Louis and him sat on too many times before, the bench he and Louis would never be able to sit on again. That thought was what made him sick. He barely made it to the nearby trash bin before he threw up everything he had in him. Once he was done and was just dry heaving because nothing was left, he sat down. He sat on the ground and just cried. He didn’t care that he was in public. He cried because his best friend was gone, never to return. He cried because he wasn’t there for Louis. He cried because Louis is gone. He’ll never be able to tell Louis he loves him. Louis will never know and Louis is dead. Why hadn’t Harry been there for Louis? Why didn’t he come home sooner? If he had never left Louis would probably still be here. Still be in Harry’s arms. Still be Harry’s.

Jay knew exactly where to look. She found Harry near the bench, still crying on the ground. She felt sick just looking at the boy. She knew how it felt, to lose someone you love more than anything. So she knelt down and helped Harry up. Once she finally got him back to her house she called his father and he told her that he’d be there tomorrow. Harry just sat on the couch, lifeless. He felt numb, like he was just floating. Floating away, trying to find Louis. Like he was trying to grasp something that wasn’t there; and never would be, so he just kept floating away.

Harry only looked up when Jay sat down next to him. “Where’s Louis I still have to tell him something.” Jay let out a chocked sobbed and quickly stood up, looking down at the boy. He just looked up at her confused by her reaction. She ran off to her room and slammed the door; she couldn’t handle this right now. Harry was tired and confused; he just wanted to tell Louis what he came here to tell him, that he loved him. So he got up and wondered up the stairs towards the room he’s been in a million times before. He stood outside the door, opening it quietly to be sure not to wake Louis if he was sleeping. When he stepped inside though, he wasn’t met with those bright blue eyes he missed so dearly, he was just met with an empty dark room. He must be out with friends; I’ll just wait here till he gets back Harry mused, lying down on the unmade bed, smelling the older boys scent, oh how he missed that smell, and how he missed Louis.

Harry was confused when he woke up. Mainly because he woke up in Louis’ bed and Louis still wasn’t there. Where was Louis dammit? Maybe he was already awake and downstairs. So Harry sat up, rubbing the sleep from his eyes, and trudged down the steps into the living room. He didn’t find Louis though, the only person he saw was his dad. “Why are you here?” Harry asked, clearly confused. His dad sighed, “Harry sit down.” He did as he was told and took a seat on the couch. “Harry, do you remember what Jay told you yesterday?” Harry thought for a second, but he couldn’t remember her saying anything, “No, I just remember her running to her room. Is she okay, what’s wrong?” His dad looked surprised. How could Harry just not accept what happened? Why was he pretending it didn’t happen?

“Harry, Louis is dead.” It came out a little more straightforward than his dad meant it to. Harry froze, and then stood, he was angry now. “No, no he isn’t. Louis is not dead. He’s going to walk through that door any minute and I’m going to tell him I love him, because I love him so much and he would never leave me, he would never die, he could never die, no.” His dad flinched, “Harry please, listen to me. Louis was in a car accident. It was an accident, he didn’t leave you, but he is gone.” Harry fell to the ground, a heart wrenching cry breaking through his lips as he lay there, curled in on himself. Repeated chants of nonononononono came crumpling out of his mouth.

It’s been a little over three months since Louis stopped replying. Harry never stopped trying though. He calls every day, hoping one day Louis will answer again. Harry writes Louis a letter every day, hoping to get a letter back soon. But Louis never does, he never answers. Then, exactly four months after Louis stopped talking to Harry, he gave up. He never thought he would give up on Louis, his Louis, but he did, since Louis gave up on him.

Dear Louis,
I’ve tried for four months. I’ve tried to tell you for four whole months Louis, but you won’t listen to me. You left me alone; you didn’t even give me a chance to tell you. I want to tell you so badly. Why won’t you just listen, why won’t you answer me, why won’t you reply Louis? So I give up. I love you so much Louis, you have no clue. I’ve loved you ever since I first saw you. I’ve loved you ever since I saw your blue eyes for the first time; your eyes stole my heart, Lou. I’ve loved you ever since I heard your voice for the first time; you have such a beautiful voice, Louis. I love you more than you ever loved me. And now that you’re done with me, I have nothing left. So I’m leaving too, Louis. I’m leaving for good. Goodbye, Lou. I love you.