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I Wish (AU)

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I Wish (AU)

(He takes your hand, I die a little)

          Harry didn’t miss how Zayn took Alice’s free hand and played with it. The brunette didn’t seem to mind the contact. She might not have look up from her book to the raven haired lad, who was massaging her other hand. She couldn’t help but smile though at the tingling sensation she felt when their skins touched.

          The curly lad across the two wasn’t happy though. Harry didn’t like how close the two had become. Before Zayn got into the picture it was just Harry and Alice. Not the famous Golden Trio, as what they’re well-known in school now. He and Alice weren’t dating but they were the best of friends. When Harry needed advice, comfort, a listener, a project partner, or someone he could copy an assignment from; Alice was that person.

          The girl always got Harry’s back and that was his lifeline. He doesn’t care if the whole world forgets him ─ not that anyone in their right mind would overlook Harry Styles with his: mop of curls, pink luscious lips, huge hands, legs that could go for miles, toned body, and angelic face ─ because he knows Alice would always remember him. But how can she do that now when she’s being distracted by Zayn, a transfer student from Bradford with long beautiful lashes, and gorgeous eyes that could swoon any girl or boy. Harry also notices the flawless jawline and cheekbone of Zayn that completed the boy’s perfection. But or course, Harry always believed that he’s the most handsome creature in school and everybody admits and knows it. When Zayn came along though, the majority was caught in a dilemma between Harry and the tan boy. The younger of the two, Harry, couldn’t blame them as well because Zayn was someone beyond ordinary.

          In Harry’s head though he knew he had won over Zayn. Not that there’s a competition between the two for popularity. The raven haired boy wasn’t the type who would want something like some silly status quo direct his life in high school. But Harry was vain ─ he couldn’t help it. He was just used being the top of the food chain and he knew he needed to keep his throne if he wanted respect. And he is still number one  ─ if there’s a scoreboard between the two boys ─ since he’s dating the head cheerleader, Taylor Swift.

(I watch your eyes and I’m in riddles

          As Harry looked away from them and back to his book, Zayn watched Alice’s eyes as it flicker to the curly boy’s direction. It was a simple glance that would mean nothing to someone but the tan boy was observant enough to see the girl’s eyes lit up like a blind seeing the sun for the first time. She was not even smiling after that short stolen glance ─ that the green eyed boy missed to see ─ but her eyes were forming the happiness and contentment that her lips couldn’t produce. Why can’t Alice look at him like that? Zayn asked himself mutely.

Why can’t you look at me like that?)

          He didn’t have to ask though because Zayn knew the answer. Alice was in love with her best friend, who was very much oblivious of her feelings. Maybe the girl’s affection wasn’t really that obvious but if you look close enough, you would see it. And you don’t have to be Einstein to notice. Then why can’t Harry see it? Why can’t the curly lad feel it? That made Zayn wonder.

          When he transferred to this school, Alice was the first person who befriended him. She was sweet, pretty, charming, smart, and kind. But Zayn saw that she was not confident and was very shy which is adorable if you ask the tan boy. Another thing that Zayn noted is how Alice would mold into Harry instantly like they were twins. But what awed Zayn the most was how the two balanced each other and their relationship was just perfect that he was assured the two were lovers. When Zayn raised the question about the two’s relationship he saw two different reaction that changed his theory.

**

          Alice was once again reading Emma, a novel of Jane Austen, one of her favorite classic writer. She enjoyed this quiet time in the library by herself but she felt even more comfortable with Harry and Zayn there. It is true that she preferred to be alone but the two lads’ company was always something she loved. Harry and his happy vibes that would never fail to influence her. And then there’s Zayn’s mysterious aura that, in the weirdest way, tells her everything is going to be fine. She doesn’t know how she would survive their chaotic school if it weren’t for these two boys that have kept her standing strong.

          She was the biggest nobody in school before she met Harry two years ago. She still is not popular at the moment but at least people now know she exists. She was smart but of course nobody registers that because it’s all about: what- car-you-drive, what-brand-of-clothes-you-wear, who-are-your-parents, and of course, who-are-your-friends. She didn’t mind being the girl who stayed at home doing a paper that was due for next month while the rest of the school is at somebody’s house getting wasted and living their teenage years to the fullest. But for once in her life she wanted to be visible and shiny like the stars because Harry was the sun. The sun that lights up her world and balances her universe.

(When you walk by, I try to say it

But then I freeze and never do it)

          How many times had she tried to confess to the curly lad again? She asked herself and knew she had lost count of all the time she had wasted. It wasn’t easy for a nobody like her to confess to the brightest star in school and she knew she would be rejected. Who was she anyway compared to the breath-takingly gorgeous Harry Styles? But all she wanted was to spit it out so when she looks back she would not regret anything.

          Unfortunately, the Fates weren’t on Alice’s side when she commenced her plan to get close to Harry. She wanted to be friends with the boy because that’s the best foundation of a relationship, friendship. She forgot about the dangerous friend zone though because that’s what happened. She and Harry got too close for comfort and here she was, still unable to tell the boy that she wanted them to be more than just friends. She was scared how it would affect their friendship, something she doesn’t want to change except for something better, so she kept quiet.

          Besides, Harry has a girlfriend now, Taylor, the beautiful blonde girl and the most popular girl in school. Harry does deserve the best and by that someone who could be his moon to reflect his light. Someone significant to a lot of people and Taylor fits the qualification perfectly not lapsing even in the IQ department. Alice decided to rest her case when she saw what a match made in heaven the couple was and Harry was happy. Nothing matters to her more than to see the curly boy happy.

**

          It was quite painful to watch your whole world fall in love with someone else every single day. And Zayn knew Alice felt the same pain. At first it was plain pity on the girl but he didn’t expect it to develop into something more. It was too late to go back though because the universe was pulling him towards Alice over and over again that in the end he decided to just go with it. He didn’t plan to fall, nobody did, and now he was breaking.

          All he really wanted was to take Alice’s pain away that somehow pains him twice more. He couldn’t bear the thought of her crying because of someone like Harry. Since curly boy was practically not caring for the girl like the way Zayn does, the latter decided to make Alice fall in love with him instead. That way there would be no more hurting and crying between both of them.

 (My tongue gets tied the words get trapped)

How will he do it when no words would come out of his mouth to tell Alice of how he feels? And he wasn’t the type who does well in talking, especially confessing of feelings.

**

          “Vas happenin’?” Alice greeted the tan boy, using his own line. They were behind the school building, looking over at the football field where Harry was practicing with his teammates. And they can also see the cheerleaders with Taylor calling the shots. Everything was normal, it is one the outside, but deep inside Zayn it wasn’t as peaceful as he wished it should be.

          Alice took her usual spot next to Zayn under their tree. It was another normal thing but for the boy it wasn’t so ordinary at all. His palm was sweating and so is his forehead. He felt claustrophobic for the first time as the girl scoot over beside him, making their knees to touch. Since when did it become like this between the two of them?

(I hear the beat of my heart getting louder

Whenever I’m near you)

          His heart was very loud inside his chest like it would burst out any moment and would join Taylor and her loud team of pretty cheerleaders. It didn’t help that everything around them was very quiet except for the faint sound from the field that reached them. For once he wished there was a very loud music around so it could drown the hard beating of his heart that was deafening him and making it hard for him to think. He has to find the right words because often times his mind produce incoherent ones.

          Nervous and speechless, Zayn cleared his throat to get Alice’s attention. He failed to do so because the girl was still staring intently at the distance. Her face was filled with melancholy and it was painful to watch. Zayn followed her gaze and saw the reason behind the heart breaking expression on the girl’s face. By the field were Harry and Taylor caught in a passionate lip lock for the whole football and dance squad to see. And enough to break two hearts, one was breaking for the other.

          The tears fell without permission from Alice’s eyes and Zayn’s instinct was to cup the girl’s face in his hands and tear her gaze away from the Haylor couple. A pair of gray eyes stared helplessly back at Zayn’s hazel ones. He dried the tears from her cheeks with his thumb and wanted to do so much more than that at the moment. He might have dried the tears, but will he be able to patch her broken heart?

          “Let me keep you,” Zayn muttered softly as he sincerely searched Alice’s eyes, maybe not for an answer but for a little thread of hope to hold on to. He’s willing to risk everything for that small assurance the girl would give him because he was a risk taker. And Alice was a risk worth taking.

**

(But I see you with him slow dancing)

          “You look very lovely tonight,” says Harry to Alice as they dance to a slow music at their Spring Formal. His hands were on her waist and her hands on his shoulders.

          “Thank you Mr. Styles,” Alice replied, smiling back and blushing a little at the compliment. It was the first time Harry had complimented her in a serious tone and at the same time more sincere. It might not have made her heart skip a bit but it sure did fill her stomach with tons of butterflies. She reached out for some of Harry’s curls behind his head and played with it. She always dreamt of touching his disarrayed hair not in a friendly kind of way like she always do when she pet the boy. His hair was soft and silky, something she already knew and it felt good against her fingertips. “You don’t look half bad as well.”

          Alice’s comment made Harry chuckled in the most attractive voice and he even added a little effect by jerking his head back that looked so freaking sexy. Even the nearby dancers couldn’t help but stare at the gorgeous boy in Alice’s arms. It’s not that Harry always make a scene to be noticed. No, he gets attention without even trying. You just can’t help but be gravitated into him and his out-of-this-world perfection.

          “Am I not attractive enough for you tonight then?” Harry asks in mock disappointment which made the girl giggle. It was infectious that it made him smile too. The girl shook her head slowly, amused at the question. And Harry wondered why he hadn’t noticed how beautiful Alice was. She had always been there for him through thick and thin if he had to elaborate. At the moment they looked perfect like they always have. Two puzzles fitting each other as natural as human breathing.

(Tearing me apart coz you don’t see)

          Zayn watches from afar as the couple sway along with the slow music. He tried not think too much of how lovely Harry and Alice look next to each other. He focused at how happy Alice was, though he couldn’t stop the noise made by his shattering heart whenever Harry would whisper something into Alice’s ear that would make the girl either to giggle or laugh and even blush. He wished he was the one doing those and receiving the same reaction from the brunette.

**

          “Harry,” Alice called in a low voice that the boy almost didn’t get to hear. But he heard so anyway because this time he was focusing at her. This time there was no football, no teacher, no party, no friend, and no Taylor to distract him. All his mind could process at the moment was the small and soft body that had snuggled into his broad chest. He held the girl close too and if possible he doesn’t want to let her go.

          “Yes A?” Harry asked affectionately and he can feel the girl smile at the name he used. He never called her Alice ever since they met. ‘A’ was his endearment towards her and he was the only one allowed to call her that since other people prefers: Al, Allie, or Alice. They weren’t dancing now just merely standing and embracing each other.

          Alice pulled away from Harry a little ─ much to his discomfort ─ to look up to him. She wasn’t so short now that she was on heels. Green orbs meeting cerulean blue. “I love you,” she confessed, praying that she said it clearly. She couldn’t hear her own voice with her heart caught in her throat and drumming loudly like the Formal needed more music than it already has. She felt that a burden had been lifted over her shoulders as the words were out but that didn’t stop her stomach from churning.

          Harry locked gazes with those beautiful gray eyes that had always been staring lovingly at him. He wanted to freeze the moment and lock it inside his heart so it would never be forgotten. But Alice was waiting for him to say or do something and he was afraid to do any because it might ruin the moment. Instead he did what he thought was the best thing in that situation. He ducked his head slowly towards her direction and placed a long kiss on the girl’s forehead. He pulled her close again as she nestled her head on the crook of his neck. “I know,” he replied matter-of-fact.

(Whenever you kiss him I’m breaking

Oh how I wish that was me)

          The girl smiled and placed a small kiss at Harry’s jaw since she can’t reach his cheek at their current position. It made Harry smile and all gooey inside. He can’t believe how a simple show of affection could radiate through his entire body. He felt at peace and happy. But until when would this last? He tried to wish again that it wouldn’t end.

(He looks at you the way that I would)

          It wasn’t the first time during that night that Harry noticed Zayn staring. He caught the tan boy once and the boy only nodded at him. He knew Zayn wasn’t particularly looking at him. The raven haired lad has his eyes on the girl that Harry was dancing with. The brunette that was on a white chiffon long gown and looked like a million bucks.

(Does all the things I know that I could)

          When Harry and Alice got back to their table where Zayn was waiting for them, the two was holding hands and laughing at a joke Harry had cracked on their way from the dance floor. Zayn stood up and pulled out a chair for Alice to sit. The girl thanked the tan boy and took the seat he offered. She missed Harry’s frown and so did Zayn, who asked the girl about the dance. The two got lost into their conversation that they forgot about Harry.

          The forgotten boy slumped to the seat next to Alice, making the girl to be between him and the tan boy. Harry knew Zayn didn’t do it on purpose ─ to do things the curly lad was supposed to be doing ─ but he understood because the tan boy was working based on instincts. He had observed that it already happened a lot before in the past and he did nothing but let Zayn do it. Zayn opened doors for Alice, when Harry is busy holding hands with Taylor; Zayn would carry some of Alice’s books when Harry had his arm around Taylor’s waist and his other hand holding his own books; and a lot of little things that he could have done instead, for Alice.

(If only time could just turn back)

          Then there was that same look in Zayn’s eyes again as the boy stares at Alice. It was the same one Harry has shared with the brunette on the dance floor when they got lost in each others gaze. He was sure Zayn was feeling the same way he does towards the girl between them right now.

          A soft ballad played and Harry was surprised to see the two singing along. And he has no idea what song is playing and who sang it. But Alice and Zayn seems to know the singer because they were smiling at each other while singing as if sharing an inside joke.

          “Do you wanna dance?” Zayn asked Alice. The girl hesitated and turned to Harry.

          “Will you be okay?” Alice asked the curly lad worriedly. As much as she wants to hit the dance floor with Zayn to enjoy the song, she couldn’t bear to leave a broken hearted Harry Styles all by himself. Not now when Harry needs her, after the massive Haylor break up.

          “Of course,” Harry answered with a nod. He gave Alice a small smile to assure the girl. They’ve known each other well enough  that they could probably finish each others sentences ─ so of course Alice saw through his lie.

          Alice grabbed his hand on the table and held it on her own. Her small hands looked even smaller next to his. “Harry ─” she begun but Harry cut her off.

          “I’ll be fine,” Harry assured and raised her hand towards his mouth and kissed the girl’s knuckles. “I’m Harry Edward Styles in case you have forgotten,” he pointed out with a smile that he hoped had reached his eyes to hide his pain from Alice’s scrutinizing gaze.

          Alice leaned in towards Harry and gave the lad a side hug. “I’m right here. Don’t you forget that,” she said. Her head on his shoulders.

          Harry nodded. His gaze fell on Zayn. The tan boy looked away once again and was trying to pretend that he wasn’t hurt. Harry saw pain and understanding in Zayn’s eyes and to his surprise he didn’t saw hate or jealousy. Zayn had been a kind person, both to him and Alice. The curly lad felt glad that Alice has Zayn for a friend and now he’s friends with the tan boy too.

          “You better go,” Harry prompted Alice and glimpsed at Zayn, who’s still being patient. “The song is about to end.”

          “Promise me you’re going to be okay,” Alice said when Harry pulled away from her. She stared into his beautiful emerald eyes and wanted to see assurance. A little ray of hope will do.

          “You worry too much,” Harry teased and chuckled that didn’t sound so convincing at all. It only knitted the girl’s brows together because of fidget. He sighed. There was no use of acting in front of a person who could read you like an open book. “I’ll get there. I’m on my way.”

          Alice kissed Harry’s cheek and rose up from her seat. Zayn copied the girl. And Harry watched the two fit in among the dancers.

**

          It was 1AM something as Harry entered the 24/7 diner. The Spring Formal had just ended and most of the students were heading to someone’s house for the after party. Harry would have been there too except he prefer hanging out with Alice and Zayn instead. He came late because he had to attend to some committee stuff.

          As Harry barged in the door he immediately he immediately located Alice and Zayn, sitting beside each other in a booth. The two have ordered foods already and they’re lost in a conversation. Alice was talking, which is so unlike her. Harry usually does the talking when they hangout so it was quite new for him to see the brunette being loquacious. Zayn and Alice looked like they weren’t on earth but on another world of their own that the only time they noticed Harry’s arrival was when the curly lad was already sitting across them on the table.

          “Harry.” Alice beamed him a smile. Zayn did too. “I hope you don’t mind that I ordered for you,” she said worriedly and eyed the food she ordered for Harry.

          “It’s fine,” Harry assured.

          “Good,” Alice said with relief. “I got you tacos.”

          “You know me so well,” Harry pointed out with a smile and begun eating his tacos. “Sometimes even better than I know myself,” he added, making the girl smile.

          “I’ve done a superb close observation I guess,” she replied.

          Harry knew it was true. The girl knows almost everything about him but he doesn’t know much about her. He had every opportunity to do that but he blew it all off.

(Coz I got three little words

That I’ve always been dying to tell you)

It was too late to turn back time and tell her three important words to turn both of their lives around, to make the past, the present, and the future more memorable than it is now.

(But I see you with him slow dancing

Tearing me apart coz you don’t see

Whenever you kiss him I’m breaking

Oh, how I wish that was me)

**

Alice was about to climbed into the car when the same song from the Formal played on the radio. She looked at Zayn and the boy was smiling.

          “I don’t think I’ve had the opportunity to dance with you on this song,” Zayn said and offered his hand. When they reached the dance floor at the Formal the song had ended and another song had played. It was a bit disappointing but now they had another chance. “May I have this dance?” he asked and Alice took his hand.

          “But here in the car park?” Alice asked, looking hesitant as she glanced around.

          “There’s nothing wrong with public dancing,” Zayn says as he placed his hands on her waist and her hands were on his shoulders. Just thinking that the girl he loves is on his arms and he might get to keep her is enough for Zayn. He doesn’t care if Alice has feelings for Harry because he knows that the girl has feelings for him too. “You should erase this from your bucket list.” He chuckled.

          “Slow dancing on a parking lot is not on my list,” she defended and wasn’t that self-conscious as she was a while ago.

(With my hands on your waist

While we dance in the moonlight)

          “Well, dancing under the moonlight is,” Zayn reasoned. “And we’re doing it now.” He smiled cheekily. Yes, he was willing to hurt for moments like this one.

          Alice laughed and Zayn joined in. They continued to dance as their eyes talk the unspoken words they couldn’t utter. And Goo Goo Dolls’ Iris played quietly in the background.

**

          Harry saw it all from inside of the diner as he was talking on the phone with Taylor. The girl wanted to get back together with him. He told the blonde girl that he was exhausted and that they’re never ever getting back together. Like ever. Why keep reading the same book when you know how it’ll end right?

As Harry hung up, he savored the pain of the burning iron that was being stabbed on his chest. Alice looked completely happy being with Zayn. It wasn’t like those times with him where the girl was indeed happy but it seemed not enough. Harry didn’t know the reason behind it then. He didn’t know that she was hurting because of him. She was loving and taking care of him while he was busy doing the same thing over someone else.

“Come on Harry,” Alice called at the curly lad who was immobile by the diner’s door. “It’s almost 2. We have to get home. I’m about to turn into a pumpkin.” She laughed at her own joke.

Harry smiled a little and headed towards the couple. He glanced at Alice then at Zayn. He gave Zayn a meaningful nod and the tan boy nodded back. “You two go,” Harry said. “I have someone I need to talk to,” he lied.

“Okay,” Alice replied but fully knowing that Harry was lying. Maybe this was for the best. They all have to move forward to stop getting hurt by the past they could never change. She gave Harry a hug. “I’m always going to be your best friend. Your A,” she whispered.

“I know,” Harry replied and hugged the girl back as if he was saying goodbye. He wasn’t. He was letting her go and that was even a harder thing to do than goodbye.

**

Alice rolled down the car window when she and Zayn were in the car. And Harry was watching them leave the parking lot.

“I’ll call you when I get home,” Alice said to Harry.

(I wish it was me that you’ll call later on

Coz you wanna say, ‘Good night.’)

Harry shook his head. “No need,” he said. “I know you’ll be safe. I’ll see you on Monday okay?”

Alice nodded and reminded herself that they’re trying to heal the cars and not trying to open up the same wounds. It was for the best. They both needed space.

“Bye Harry,” Zayn says and gave Harry a grateful look. The curly lad answered it with a You-take-care-of-her-or-I’ll-beat-the-shit-out-of-you look. Zayn nodded, getting the message. “Thanks. You take care too,” the tan boy added.

(Coz I see you with him slow dancing

Tearing me apart coz you don’t see

But I see you with him slow dancing

Tearing me apart coz you don’t see

Whenever you kiss him I’m breaking

Oh, how I wish…)

          Harry watched Zayn’s car disappear and wished it was him and Alice instead. It was him who have slowed dance with the girl under the moonlight with his hands on her waist.

(Oh how I wish…)

          Harry wished it was him who’ll take the brunette home and maybe get a goodbye kiss by the door. And get a call later on from the girl telling him goodnight.

(Oh how I wish that was me…)

          It could have been him and Alice doing all of those and many more other things in the future. But he had his chance. Now all he can do is wish that it was him instead of Zayn.

(Oh how I wish that was me.)