“Harry…did you hear me?” Louis said quietly as he looked at the boy next to him.
Louis was tutoring the young boy, not a day older then 16. His tight curls were slowly easing up on his head as his hair began to grow out. Louis had been talking for the past fifteen minutes about the differences of paint and other artist uses for drawing.
Harry blinked fiddling his paintbrush in the black paint, which he’s been doing for now, the past 16 minutes.
“Harry…” Louis sighed when he didn’t get a response from the boy. He remembers his mother, beautiful women, dropping Harry off, to Louis best friends, Zayn art studio. Which he so happened to be working at. She said that Harry was anti social, but he loved to doodle and draw, so she thought this would be good for him to take this personal tutoring class.
Harry looked up, glancing nervous eyes at Louis. He flushed the minute his burning green eyes met the cool blue ones, with a quick glance back to the black paint.
Louis placed a warm hand over Harry’s hand; who’s froze, slightly flinching away. The wooden brush clicked silently as it fell down vertically on the palette that Harry was messing with.
“I’m not going to hurt you…” Louis whispered, as his hand was still slightly placed over Harry’s.
Harry gulped nervously; looking down at the fair skin mixed with the honey toned one.
“Harry, look at me.” Louis said gently. Harry kept his eyes down, head shaking lightly.
“Please…” Louis pleaded biting his lip.
Harry huffed out breath from his flustered cheeks as he looked up at Louis, eyes gazing anywhere but the blue in his field vision.
Louis smiled once Harry’s frantic eyes looked at him.
“Tell me about yourself.”
Harry furrowed his eyebrows, his voice soft thickly coated with confusion. “What?”
Louis had to bite down the smile from hearing Harry’s voice, which surprisingly a bit lower then his.
“I wanna know things about you.” Louis shrugged, fiddling with the paint brush that fell, between his fingers.
“What things?” Harry asked shyly, cheeks suddenly scorching his skin at the thought of such a beautiful boy like Louis wanting know things about him.
“Anything…” Louis smiled nicely, lashes fluttering when something caught into his eye. Probably dust.
Harry was fixed in Louis pretty face, looking down when he realized he stared to long.
“Well…I’m—” Harry was cut off before he could say anything else; Louis smiled sweetly as he shoved the paint brush into his hands.
“Draw it for me…don’t speak.” He whispered as if he was sharing a cherished secret with the smaller boy in front of him.
Harry took the brush out of Louis hand his finger tips grazing against Louis soft skin. Making Harry’s now calmed face, redden again.
He stared at his paper for a minute and thirty two seconds when he heard Louis sigh next to him.
“Can…you leave?” Harry asked, not in a rude way…if anything, he asked timidly.
Louis nodded; flashing a smile to the younger boy s he began fixing things around the studio, his back to Harry.
He heard the light scuffling of paint mixing with paper, not even hiding the smile that appeared at his face.
Fifteen minutes passed and he heard a knock on the door. Louis frowned when he realized that Anne, Harry’s mother, signed Harry up for the thirty minute session instead of the hour long one, saying he’d be back if he liked it.
Harry jumped off of the stool, cleaning out the paint brush in the water in front of him before grabbing his back pack.
“Bye Harry.” Louis called out, a smile on his face. Harry looked back, almost astonished that Louis talked to him again.
“B-bye, Lou.” Harry said softly, too soft that Louis had to take a moment to decipher that Harry called him ‘Lou’ rather then Louis.
After cleaning up the studio, he made a beeline for the keys, remembering he told Zayn he’d lock up for him.
He went to the easel that Harry was drawing at, a slight frown escaped his lips when he saw Harry’s drawing. It was all in black, not even using the other vibrant colors Louis offered. It was just a smiley face that wasn’t smiling at all. It had a frown on its face. Harry added other fine lines, as if to add wrinkles to the depressed face.
He had a feeling he wouldn’t bee seeing Harry again.
Louis stared at Harry who was fiddling with the hem of his black hoodie. It was warm in the studio, but the hoodie seemed like a light materiel. He couldn’t stop smiling, glad that Harry was back again.
“Harry” Louis called out, making the boy turn his head slightly to show he was listenting.
“Harry, remember when I asked you to draw something about yourself for me last week?” Louis asked, knowing he would drop the subject when he realized Harry seemed uncomfortable.
Harry nodded gently, only a few curls falling to his face, which he shoved away with a hand that was wrapped around his hoodie.
“You drew a frowny face.” Louis said lightly.
Harry sighed, eyes darting down to the floor as he shifted away from Louis.
Louis gulped, knowing he crossed a boundary.
“What do you want to draw today?” Louis asked, changing the subject.
“Your eyelashes.” Harry said after a full minute of silence, his voice still deep and soft.
Louis eyebrows furrowed as he took in Harry’s words.
“My eyelashes?” He questioned.
Harry nodded, glancing up for a quick second before his head ducked down back to his fidgeting fingers.
“Okay.” Louis agreed simply. He shifted his chair so he was in front of Harry, only seeing the blank background of the easel.
Harry looked at the items Louis had lined up for him, telling him the beginning sessions were going to be very carefree. Harry picked up a fine charcoal pencil, studying it with an intense look for a whole of 42 seconds which Louis counted himself.
Harry scratched the paper, his cheeks tinting to a soft shade of pink which reminded Louis of the paint called ‘dusted rose’, whenever his eyes met Louis.
“L-look down.” Harry asked softly.
Louis eyes darted to the ground, hair falling to his face slightly, he went to push it away but a soft voice coming from Harry stopped him.
The time ticked endlessily. It was 42 minutes later when Harry coughed into his jacket, eyes blinking up at Louis. His face suddenly now a bit pinker when he realized Louis was going to look at his drawing.
Louis stood up from the stool, walking behind Harry, placing his head at the crook of Harry’s shoulder.
Harry flushed a deep red, his cheeks becoming splotched with different color.
“Wow.” Louis was breathless, it was his eyes looking at the ground, a bit of his hair brushing against his left eye lightly and just the bridge of his nose drawn. It was a bit of his face, but Harry drew it flawlessly.
“Do you like it?” Harry whispered biting on his bottom lip.
Louis smiled, “Yeah, it’s beautiful.”
Harry smiled proudly as he lifted his hand to smudge lightly on some of the harsher lines in the drawing with his thumb.
Louis eyes wandered down Harry’s delicate hands, body becoming suddenly tense when he saw Harry’s wrists. It was a slight peek, but you could tell they were littered with cuts. Faded and new marks showed at the little opening that Louis eyes fell upon.
Harry dropped his hand, pleased with his drawing before just sitting there, not bothering to ask Louis to get off. Which he eventually did.
Louis pulled up a stool in front of Harry, giving him a faltering smile.
Harry looked up, eyes shining slightly.
Louis gulped, forcing a smile into his lips. “You did great.”
They were finger painting now. His mother would be picking Harry up early today, so Louis decided to just have another free day. The once per week tutoring sessions, slowly turned to two, Harry chimed in if it would even be okay have three sessions a week, which Louis happily obliged too.
“Finally, color on your paper.” Louis teased as he smudged his bright blue thumb on the orange and reds on Harry’s paper.
Harry giggled doing the same to Louis paper, adding a red splotch to the blues and green in Louis paper.
“Why don’t you wear colorful things? You’re always in dark colors.” Louis asked hesitantly. His bright red pants and white button up shirt shining bright with his personality.
“Dunno…” Harry spoke softly, eyes darting to his paper, his thumb pressed on the black, smudging the bright red now to a deep blood color on his paper.
“How’s school?” Louis asked changing the subject again.
Louis sighed as he went back to his painting. “Girlfriend?” He asked warily.
Harry blushed bright pink as his eyes flickered to Louis.
Louis smirked as he raised an eyebrow at the eyeing boy.
“Don’t have one.” Harry answered simply.
“Boyfriend?” Louis asked, his cheeks slightly burning at the question.
Harry on the other hand, was red. His blood pumping hard through his veins in shyness. “Don’t have one.”
“Do you want one?” Louis asked.
“A girlfriend?” Harry questioned. Which Louis shrugged to nonchantly.
“No… I don’t like girls.” Harry spoke softly as his eyes wandered back to his own paper.
“So you like boys?” Louis asked, his face matching Harry’s blush. Harry coughed into his sleeve as he thought of his answer.
“Not any in my school.” Harry spoke softly. “But…yes, I like boys. Is that wrong?”
“No!” Louis replied quickly, he coughed standing up straighter.
“There is nothing wrong with liking boys, Harry.”
Harry smiled, biting his bottom lip as he spoke softly. “Are you dating anyone?”
Louis turned to the younger boy, only three years younger then him. “No.”
“Oh.” Harry bit on his lip, as the edges of his mouth twitched upward.
“I like boys too Harry, and girls.” Louis smiled sweetly at Harry who turned wide eyed at Harry.
“Is that wrong?” Louis questioned innocently, almost mocking Harry.
Harry shook his head. “Not at all.”
Louis shuffled around the crowded room, Placing two stools at the corner of the room.
“This is going good.” Louis smiled as he patted Zayn in the back. The darker haired boy smiled at the people looking his newer art pieces.
“And Harry? Are you sure you didn’t want to cancel?” Zayn asked.
“It would have crushed him…it’s fine, we’ll work quietly in the corner.
Zayn smiled as he looked up at the picture that he hung in the corner of the room. The eyelashes Harry drew.
“He’s bloody good. Makes me a bit jealous.”
Louis rolled his eyes, tip toeing to kiss his best friend in the cheek.
“Not to mention he always has your attention.” Zayn smirked as Louis nudged him hard on the ribs.
“What is that suppose to mean?”
“It means, you’re a cradle robber.” Zayn smirked as Louis eyes widened at his words.
“Here comes the baby, snatch him up swiper.” Zayn said under his breath once he saw Harry wide eyed, looking around the room full of people.
Louis smacked his friend upside the head, causing the boy to sneer at Louis as he fixed his upwards hair.
Louis smiled as he tugged at Harry’s black hoodie. “This way.”
Harry eyes fell to the ground as he was led to the corner of the room.
Harry hadn’t said one word to Louis that session. His eyes were big and frantic, his drawing still excellent but sloppy. He rushed and his palms were sweating, constantly rubbing them against his jeans.
“Harry.” Louis said a bit sternly as he watched the frantic boy rip the paper with the charcoal pencil, letting the sharp tip of the pencil break.
Harry broke down.
He was a shaking mess, covering up his tears as he excused himself quietly to the bathroom.
Louis checked twice on him, suddenly becoming nervous when the boy stayed behind the locked door for 15 minutes.
The boy left the room, making a beeline for the exit when Louis called out for him.
“Harry!” Louis chased after the boy who was now waiting outside the studio, eyes stained red as he spotted his mothers car.
“Harry, wait!” Harry turned around wiping at his eyes.
Louis face paled slightly as he saw a dark patch on Harry’s sweater. Either he spilled water over his wrist or…
“Harry we still have 35 minutes.”
Harry gave a soft good bye wave, not bothering to say anything else as he stepped into his mothers dark car.
It had been two weeks before Louis had Harry once again sitting at the stool next to him.
“Very good, just, make sure to do lighter strokes.” Louis said softly as he eyed Harry’s work.
Harry nodded, his brush strokes becoming lighter, a small twitch at the corner of his lips turned upward as he got the result he wanted.
“Harry, I’m sorry…but did I do something wrong?” Louis asked after a couple minutes of silence.
“No…What makes you say that?” The boy asked quietly.
“You left our last session after only being their for 25 minutes…and 15 of those minutes you spent in the bathroom—”
Harry cut Louis off, his voice loud but still gentle.
“I don’t like people.”
Louis closed his mouth, and opened it but let it hang there for a second. “What?”
“I don’t like people…They…stress me out.” Harry admitted as he looked back at his painting, a silent ‘fuck’ escaping his lips as he noticed he messed up on a brush stroke.
“It’s okay.” Louis spoke. “Why do you spend time with me? I’m a people.”
“You’re a person.” Harry giggled as he looked back at Louis. “People are mean…and you’re not.”
Louis smiled, bringing the boy in for a half embrace with his left arm. Harry tensed, only loosening once Louis let go of him.
“Harry…” Louis looked up at Harry who was ruffling through his back pack, waiting for his mother to pick him up. Harry took out a little medical bottle, slipping out a pill which he quickly swallowed down, flushing it down with the water in his water bottle. He capped it up, looking up at Louis.
“What’s that?” Louis asked. Harry looked at the ground as he handed the orange medical container to Louis.
“Xanax….holy shit.” Louis looked up wide eyed at the boy.
“It’s for anxiety…” Harry spoke quietly, taking the bottle back.
“You have to be careful with that.”
“Trust me…I know.” Harry said eyes getting distant as he looked at the door impatiently.
Louis phone rung, loudly in the quite room.
Harry clutched onto his backpack as he sat down on Louis couch, stiff by the sudden change of scenery.
Anne asked if Louis could take care of Harry for nothing more then a couple hours. She was frantic, which Louis shut her up saying he didn’t mind taking care of the boy and for her to take her time not to stress on whatever she was doing.
“Tea?” He offered as he came back with two cups of home made tea.
Harry smiled taking the cup in his hoodie covered hands.
“Why do you cut yourself?” Louis blurted out, mouth suddenly shutting up once he spoke out loud.
“Sorry…that was out of line.”
Harry’s eyes stared straight ahead, not answering. They dropped to his lap. Only blinking.
Fifteen minutes later, Louis ripped the cup from Harry’s tight hold, placing it on his coffee table. “Tea’s cold.” He said quietly.
“Because….it helps.” Harry finally replied, arms crossing, hiding his wrists.
Louis took a second for his mind to click to what Harry said.
“What does it help?” Louis asked.
“Helps me feel…better.” Harry looked away from Louis as his head turned the other way.
“Why do you need to feel better?” Louis asked slowly, realizing Harry was opening up.
“Because I feel like shit…I’m always in constant pain…and it helps me remind myself, that nothing will ever hurt more then me splitting my own skin apart.” Harry spoke lowly, his words dark but voice soft.
“Why are you in pain?”
“Because…people are mean.”
Louis smiled at the boy he hasn’t seen for three weeks who was at the stool in the corner of the room.
“He’s been dying to see you.” Anne smiled as she signed a new check for Louis.
“Oh…did things come up?”
“He was just sick the days he had to come to tutoring it was awful…but he said he’s feeling better today, might have been the flu.” She replied back.
“Oh, Louis.” Anne called before she left for the exit, heels clacking back into the room. Louis walked back to Anne, retracing his steps while he was in the way towards Harry.
“There’s a show and tell for Harry’s grade ten class…you really should come as his guest.” Anne smiled sweetly. “He would love it.”
Louis eyebrows rose, a smile cracking his face. “I would love too, but wouldn’t you and your husband rather do something like that?”
Anne’s smile turned into a tight line, eyes gracing the floor. “Harry’s dad isn’t in the picture…he…left, and I just file papers in a hospital…I’m pretty sure he’d rather show you off.”
“Uhh…Hi… I’m Louis Tomlinson.” He stared at the sea of teenagers before him. They weren’t like Harry; none had the innocence in their face or the shine in their eyes. Some slouched on their chair, others popped gum rather loudly but most of them were sneaking phones under the desk’s.
“I’m Harry’s art tutor…” Louis smiled as Harry blushed, eyes gazing to the floor. He was seated somewhere near the back of the class, not a lot of people surrounding him.
An arm raised into the room. Louis gulped as he nodded at the blonde girl that was giving him flirty eyes. “Who’s Harry?” She asked, not even mockingly but genuinely.
Louis looked at the girl; eyes squinted slightly when he realized she was serious. “Harry Styles, he’s in the back.” He pointed at Harry who quickly ducked his head down once heads turned to look at the young boy.
Louis was taking in a breath to talk when he heard a boy cough, speaking loudly the word ‘fag’. The class erupted to silent giggles as heads looked to where the noise was made and back at Harry.
Louis frowned deeply.
“Anyway… I help run an art studio near down town with my friend Zayn… it’s his art studio but, I have a part time job tutoring.” Louis smiled as he was going to begin with the different ways to express yourself in art when a boy raised his arm in the air.
Louis nodded, smiling at the interested students.
“How many students are you tutoring?” He asked, arms crossing once he dropped his hand back down.
“Just Harry at the moment…I’ve only taught about four students since I’ve been working at Zayn’s, and I’ve been working there for a year…” Louis shrugged.
The boy smirked as he took in a breath to speak, “So it’s only Harry?”
Louis glanced down to Harry, he was fiddling with the strap of his back pack frantically as his eyes stayed glued to the floor, stray heads still watching him.
Louis nodded, “Yeah.” He was going to start talking again but the boy talked before him. “Why do you waste your time with him?” The class erupted into either giggles or silent open mouth gapes.
All heads turned frantically towards Louis then back at Harry.
The teacher was standing up; ready to scold the boy, but Harry stepped out of his seat making a quick get away towards the exit.
“Harry!” Louis called out, as people began making low remarks calling him a ‘little bitch’. Louis heard enough from the rude teenagers as he chased after the boy.
“Harry!” Louis called out. He saw bouncing curls run into a boys restroom.
Harry was a crumbling mess in Louis arms, tears staining his new button up blouse that he bought to impress Harry today.
“Shh, it’s okay babe.” Louis cooed, fingers snaking through the loose curls.
Harry held to Louis tight.
“People are mean.” He sniffled, eyes red as he stared at Louis.
Harry stared at the blank sheet in front of him. Louis had left his side, thinking Harry wanted alone time as he straightening up around the room.
“Today’s my last day here.” Harry announced placing the paint brush down.
Louis turned, eyebrows furrowed. “What?”
“I’m not coming back…”
“Why?” Louis almost whined as he took long strides towards Harry.
“Because…you shouldn’t waste your time on me. My dad didn’t…so you shouldn’t either.”
Louis melted with sadness at Harry’s words.
“No, Harry, don’t say that. I love spending time with you…I always look forward to seeing you.”
“Louis…I’m going to kill myself.” Harry spoke quietly.
Louis blood froze as he gaped at the boy.
“It wont be painful…I’ll just over dose… and I wont be a burden anymore…not to you or my mother…or even the mean kids at school. I’ll be at peace.” Harry spoke silently.
Louis shook his head, brain not able to make words. “N-no!” He raised his voice, making the boy flinch slightly.
“Harry no! You cant do that! I wont let you.” Louis grasped at the boy, turning him in the stool, his eyes were fixed to the ground.
“Louis…don’t….—just stop pretending like you care.” Harry didn’t bother wiping at the hot tear that burned down his cheek.
Louis cool thumb swiped at the tear, “Harry look at me.”
“Harry. Look at me.”
“Look up, Harry…please.” Louis pleaded helplessly.
Harry looked up, eyes black and sullen.
“Harry, you cant kill yourself, I wont let you.”
“Why do you care? I’m just another paycheck.”
Louis shook his head frantically, “I like you Harry! You’re bloody fantastic at art, even Zayn said you were amazing…and he’s great. You’re so…so pretty, and talented…and witty and cheeky. I cant loose you.”
Harry’s cheeks burned slightly as his eyes began to water with Louis words.
“I’m not though…”
“Yes you are… you are in front of me, why?”
Harry broke eye contact with Louis turning red.
“Why?” Louis demanded.
“I like you…a lot.” Harry spoke softly. “Like the way I like boys.” He mumbled shyly.
Louis pulled the boy closer, into a tight embrace, he snaked his arms around the growing boy who was matching shoulder height to him.
“Harry, babe, look at me.” He mumbled.
Harry looked up, not even possible to be more flustered when Louis called him babe.
Louis leaned in, pressing soft lips against Harry’s plush ones.
Louis slipped a hand around Harry’s as they walked out of the therapy building.
“I want you to come with me next time…” Harry spoke gently, soft milk arms rubbing against Louis tan ones.
Louis looked down at the fading scars. “Me?”
Harry nodded. “Yeah…I…thank you Louis.” Harry stopped the feathered haired boy before he entered his car.
“If it wasn’t for you…id be dead right now.” Harry admitted.
The young boy was now taking online school, which Anne agreed to through tear stained eyes when Louis appeared with a shaking Harry that night a couple weeks ago when Harry spoke about his future suicide attempt.
Louis bit his lip, leaning down to catch Harry’s lips in his. Harry wrapped, newly exposed arms around Louis.
Once they parted, Louis nosed at Harry’s cheek. He brought the arms around his waist to his face, kissing each wrist tenderly.
“I love you…don’t ever forget it.” Louis mumbled, placing a soft kiss to the deepest scar that Harry had.
Harry kissed the top of Louis head, smiling at the feather light kisses.
“I love you too, Lou.”