(DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. It’s important to remember this is all totally fabricated, embellished, and exaggerated for entertainment purposes.)
If our love is tragedy, why are you my remedy?
If our love’s insanity, why are you my clarity?
Zedd – Clarity
Without him, I felt halved. Pitted. Devoid of something major. With him I felt stoned. Addled. Euphoric. Kamikaze. These extremes had disordered my life beyond functioning. I couldn’t tell whether I was safer with him or without him, and that scared the hell out of me.
As I exited the elevator on the 30th floor, he was stood at the end of the hall, leaning back against the wall and watching the ceiling. The sole of one Chelsea boot was planted irreverently against the white paint. He looked every bit the college dropout he was. Graphic tee featuring the Rolling Stones tongue logo. Black ripped jeans accentuating every slope and curve of his figure.
When he heard the elevator deposit me, he started down the hall without speaking. I broke into a full-on sprint, crashing into him midway and shoving him backwards through the stairwell door. Our breathing was erratic, amplified by the acoustics as if it had passed through a megaphone first. Thankfully, the chances of anyone choosing to take the stairs this high up were slim. Still, I didn’t give a fuck who found us at the moment. This was war. This was our reckoning.
We stumbled backwards onto the small, ill-lit landing; his back thudding against the wall. Our kiss was manic, like two feral dogs mauling each other in an alleyway. “I missed you so fucking much, baby…” I rasped. “Youh hear me? Youh fuckin’ hear me?!” He nodded, slumping down the wall as if his knees had given out. I dragged him back up, clutching his shirt at the waist.
Tears clouded my eyes. For the first time in a long time, I grabbed two fistfuls of his ass, massaging it, reacquainting myself with it, slipping my hands beneath his waistband to feel his bare flesh. Then I broke the kiss and planted my lips to his neck, detecting his pulse against my open mouth.
“Z…” he panted, gulping for air. “Don’t stop…don’t stop…” He was so ready for me. He had been dying without me. The deprivation was self-inflicted though, so I felt no sympathy. He had cut me off. I was glad he had suffered. I should’ve made him suffer more. Now he knew how much he needed me, and he was begging me to make love to him. Touching himself, losing all composure. I had done that to him. Only me.
“Who’ve youh been sleepin’ with?” was my crazed whisper. “They’re not takin’ care of youh…I can see it all over your face…” He looked miserable now; regretting how accurate I was.
“Bullshit.” I stopped and grabbed ahold of his face with one hand, “Youh can’t goh without it that long. Who was my cheap fuckin’ replacement? Huh?”
“N-no one. I swear—”
“Yeah, you’re stutterin’ now. Youh too embarrassed to say?”
“Youh done punishin’ me, then? Youh feel like an idiot yet? That other person must’ve made youh feel like shit—”
“Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you!”
“I know youh want to…”
“Leave me alone…” he croaked.
“Youh knew that shit could never work, right?” My lips curled into a heinous grin. “Youh know how we are. Youh know we can’t be apart that long—”
“I didn’t have a choice…” he wept. I away wiped his tears with my sleeve.
“Youh almost killed me…” I gritted out, losing all levity. Apparently I was crying too, although I was utterly incognizant of the fact. Anodyne chemicals commandeered my brain after reconciling with him. Endorphin overload. I could fall over right then and there and check out, OD-ing on sheer elation.
He touched my face weakly, swiping the tears away before dragging his fingers down my lips. He was tactile as hell, addicted to touch. There was no place on my body his fingers and tongue hadn’t explored, and which hadn’t hankered for him as badly as I did. I liked when he studied my face, ghosting his fingertips over each of my features individually; reading my expression like a blind man. I would always remember the tentative chill of his fingertips as they landed on my eyelids or coursed over my brows. I would always remember the plush shove of his lips against my temple. I would always remember the way his breath felt as he exhaled against my face mid-kiss.
If I wasn’t giving him attention, God knows he sought it somewhere else. He liked to be liked, and even worse, he liked to be loved. To command the attention of a room. To hold court. And rightfully so. He was the sort of person you ought to adore, you ought to love, you ought to put first, and he felt slighted if even a passing stranger denied him that.
“What’s her name?” I demanded.
“It’s not important. She wasn’t you.”
I dug both hands into his hair and gently scratched his scalp, whispering that if I ever found out, I would kill them both. Now he was overtaken with shivers, biting his lip and bending his knees as they weakened. I tugged, wrenching my fingers around his hair, and his breath quickened. His mouth parted to let out airless little gasps that I followed with my eyes. Suddenly I grabbed two fistfuls of his shirt collar, jarring him from his ecstasy.
“Why the fuck wouldn’t youh answer the phone for me?”
“Because I hate you.” His eyes dropped to my lips.
“Fair enough.” I kissed him again. He wrapped his arms around my neck and I crushed his waist so hard his feet left the floor.
“Come back to my room…” I demanded, roughly.
“Noh? Youh crazy?”
“You’re gonna take it too far, and I got things to do before the show.”
“Haz, just come back to the fuckin’ room for a minute, what the fuck?”
“No, Z,” he shook his head and straightened his shirt as I backed away. “I can’t ditch the people I made plans w—”
“Then what the fuck are we even doing then??” I turned to leave, slinging the door open.
“Wait!” He grabbed my arm, pleading with me not to go. “Just a few more minutes alright?”
“Fuck off, Haz. I’m fine for the mind games. Should’ve never even asked youh to meet me here—”
“Mate, go! Just fucking go!” he spat, watching me with a derisive raise of his lip. “All you give a fuck about is what you want. Why can’t we ever do what I want?!”
“Because youh don’t know what the fuck you want!” I shouted, charging him. He immediately shut down, body language becoming defeated, eyes averted. “One day you’re here, one day you’re there, you’re up, you’re down, youh want me, youh don’t want me, you’re all over the fuckin’ place!” He shut his eyes and I took my foot off the gas. All of this was worthless. He wanted to pick a fight but was in no condition to finish it. He just wanted to make me react so he could guilt me later. I wasn’t going to feel guilty for him.
“I won’t apologize for what happened in August, Haz…because I felt like it needed to do it, okay? Whether youh understand it or not—”
“And that’s exactly the problem. Youh don’t ever think about me unless you want something. Otherwise you just never consider me—”
“I did consider youh!” I hollered, slamming my hand against the wall beside his head. “But that doesn’t mean I have to build my fuckin’ life around youh!” He despaired, shutting his eyes again.
“Look, Haz….m’sorry for shoutin’. It’s nothin’, anyweh…” I sobered. I could literally feel my heart ripping, watching the things he was going through. There was simply no fight left in him. “It means nothing to me, Haz. It’s just something for my family and her family and the media to talk about, that’s all, babe. Soh I won’t apologize for it, and I won’t allow youh to make me into the bad guy when I’m standin’ right here ready to be with youh!”
“I don’t won’t this…” he croaked, slumping to the floor against the wall. “I don’t want this fucked up version of you. It makes me feel cheap. It makes me feel like we’re destructive and wrong.” His voice cracked. “You think she’s better than me…”
“That’s not true. Don’t measure yourself up to her like that. We’re not a part of that world remember? That world doesn’t dictate who we are or what we are or how we can be. She can’t fuckin’ compare to youh…trust me…”
“But I want to be a part of that world. Did you ever even consider that?” he glanced up at me, face reddened. “I don’t want to be hidden. I want that world to see us and know us.”
“Right, fuckin’ great, broh. Nothin’ I do is every enough, right?”
“I want all of you. Not just the stupid fucking secrets. Not just your guilt, mate. I want to be a part of your pride; I want to be one of the parts you’re not ashamed of.”
“I’m not ashamed of youh—”
“You are! And I…” he sniffled, roughly wiping the tears away. “And I don’t care how much you try to pretend you’re not. The simple fact that you’re fucking engaged is an indictment on everything I am and everything we have together.”
“Haz, I can’t do this right now.” I uttered, eyelids falling halfway. Despondence seemed to creep up the stairwell and surround us. My heart was worn out. Twitching like it was short-circuiting. He genuinely believed I was embarrassed by him, and in his defense, I hadn’t really given him a reason to feel differently. I squatted to make myself level with him and took ahold of his hands.
“Baby, I will never fuckin’ marry her.” I kissed his hands like an idiot. He had no idea how much I despised the idea of marriage. Marriage was a chore. A long way around life with someone who was bound to annoy you. And marrying young was one of the most incapacitating things a person could do to themselves.
“I don’t want you to be with anyone else,” he whispered. “I don’t want you to touch anyone else. Please, please don’t…” His voice was hoarse, whimpery. He kept whispering please. Wrapping my arms around his body. Putting our lips together. It was too fucking much. I couldn’t believe the way I’d broken him.
“Maybe we should just cut our losses?”
“What? Stop…” He was out of breath. For the first time ever, I sincerely refused him. I pulled his hands away from my face and stood up. It was like a weight lifted off my shoulders.
“Let’s just be done with this….alright?” I was out of my head, but I knew I was making sense. “Let’s just be friends again, broh…”
“You’re insane.” He marveled, standing with the help of the wall. “Seriously…this isn’t funny, Zayn. Stop fucking with my head!”
“Youh first, bastard!” At that, he ran his hands down his face, and clenched his jaw closed. “M’serious. All the pain, all the weirdness…it could just goh if we agree to stop here. Right now…noh hard feelin’s” I smiled a delirious smile. “Aren’t youh tired Haz? Imagine how gud things would be if we didn’t have to be soh mad at each other all the time? Fuck it, broh, let’s just be friends again? Okay?”
I had never seen him look so incensed. There was a different Harry standing before me now. Still, he didn’t curse, or scream, and he didn’t hit me like I knew he wanted to. His nostrils flared a bit and betrayed how livid he was. Then he simply said “Yeah, ok.” and took off down the stairs. I had no idea what those final words meant, but I wasn’t going to stick around and find out.
I took off back to my room with an air of relief. It felt so good to be rid of him. Finally rid of that sickening, addictive cage of a relationship. So constrictive and haunting. Handicapping us since we broke every boundary back in 2011 and dove into each other. Maybe I was kidding myself entirely and I’d be begging for his forgiveness by the end of the day, but even a false sense of relief was enough to make me feel a 100 stone lighter.
Resisting him wasn’t easy, of course, and I still couldn’t shake the notion that I must have him, but it would get better with time. Detoxing would be a long and strenuous process. It always was. But ultimately it would make me well again. I had already gotten over the withdrawals in the first days and weeks I was forced to go without him. And as with all addictions, when you couldn’t find one fix you resorted to others. So, I got high nearly every day, watched too much porn (gay porn at that, not my usual go to) and just tried to forget him. So I’d just do all of that again.
And it didn’t help that I still had to see him every day, reminding me that no amount of porn could quell the urge to be buried deep within his heat; having him clench around me and groan like I was disemboweling him, but again that would all have to be managed with time. Maybe eventually I could quit weed too…and video games. Maybe getting rid of all addictions would ensure I never went back to him. It was certainly worth a try.
(Thanks for reading! ❤️)