(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.)
Change your heart, look around you
Change your heart, it will astound you
I need your loving like the sunshine
And everybody’s gotta learn sometime
Everybody’s gotta learn sometime
Beck – Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime
Later I lay across the center of my bed fully clothed, listening to Amy Winehouse’s “Stronger Than Me” and neglecting my room service breakfast. The eggs were starting to stink up the place. Still, I spaced, studying the flecks in the sunshine as it filled the room like a tremulous breath. There was the allure of a fresh start calling; beckoning me as if I was peering down a long corridor at a shutting door. It was my last window to freedom; to normalcy. I raced to catch it, jamming my foot in the threshold to keep it from closing. Then a disembodied hand pulled me through into blinding light.
“Love Is A Losing Game” covered the room. I lit a Marlboro, not giving a fuck whether the smoke clung to the furniture and landed me in trouble with the concierge. I’d been lectured in every language known to man, chastised on every continent, fined in every currency. By now I did what I wanted, and I wasn’t going to relent who I was just because I was in someone else’s backyard for a day or two. Why the fuck should I have to adjust my behavior for the rest of the world? I was sick of that shit. Had been doing it since I was a kid. Everything was exhausting, sapping me as this job called us all over the planet, expectant that we should follow without question. Dare to voice any qualms and get fired. How was that fair? The world ought to adjust for me, for a change. How about we try that for a while?
Who did they think they were, anyway? Trying to inconvenience smokers at every turn? Systematically discriminating against us. Penalizing us into quitting. It was oppressive as fuck. Nazi Germany shit. Why couldn’t I smoke in the privacy of my own room when I was shelling out thousands of dollars a night for it? Didn’t I technically own this place for the night? Who the hell could tell me what to do in my own home? They could all blow me, as far as I was concerned.
“Rehab” was playing now. My phone rang and the vibration barely penetrated the mental fog that left me staring at an indistinct mark on the ceiling. The entire surface seemed to swim and converge to a single point, flowing down into itself like a heaving whirlpool. I wondered if the mark truly existed or whether my brain had hallucinated it to justify my glaring in that direction. It sucked up bits of the room piece by piece. A picture frame here, a plant there. A chair, a pillow. My shoes. When it shape-shifted and became a face, I shut my eyes, trying to forget its contorted grin.
I wanted to cry but my body was so detached from my mind the act was simply impossible. My tear ducts were drained anyway. Full of grit. That fight in the hall had taken a lot out of me. Will I be a broken man? That’s all I wanted to know. Would this thing I had with him leave me bitter and disheveled long after it ended? I’ve seen the type, you know. Wastes of life. The sort who walked around neighborhoods barely cognizant of where they were headed, or sat in restaurants drooling over the porcelain; pitied by the waitresses. Gaze always fixed blankly ahead. Never feeling, never intermixing, only observing. That could be me in 10 or 20 years. Better to get out now and look after my future. Keep my wits about me. Fuck if he hadn’t driven me mad already. There had been nothing but a rage-colored volatility since I met him. Emotions barely harnessed. Sheer instability. All things thrown out of balance.
Later I saw him standing around the stage looking friendless. Too baffled to be angry. Too sullen to be cold. Just a tired little boy pretending not to care. Needing me. Fuck, I could see how badly he needed me, but I wouldn’t relent. Wouldn’t let him know I knew. He had introduced me to a world of hurt of late, and I was beginning to think it was never worth it. What had I gained, exactly, except for a few good nuts and a perpetual headache? Well, to be fair, maybe it had been a few hundred good nuts, but still, it never really outweighed how shitty I felt most days. Not that he was an awful partner in all this, or that he was solely at fault, but it was the unexpected residuals that got to me over time. The guilt that crushed my chest, the remorse whenever I met Perrie’s eyes…or my dad’s, or my cousins’. The bizarre shame that lasted for days after we did something truly fucking disgusting in the dark. And we got straight-up nasty sometimes. Some of the things we did to one another were outright certifiable, and I’d die if anyone came even remotely close to finding out.
Marriage was on the horizon. A clean slate. A powerful out from all the awful things I’d set into motion. It wasn’t really my scene, but maybe I’d get used to it. My parents had. So had my uncles and aunts. And Pez wasn’t all that bad once I realized she was separate from him. She wasn’t him, and I needed to stop comparing them. She was pretty decent in her own right, too. Terrible cook, but she enjoyed a laugh every now and then and I liked being around her after a long stretch apart. That had to be a good sign right? We had a similar sense of humor, and according to everything I knew, that meant we’d get along in the long run.
As I finished my verse in “I Would,” feet plodding around in my clunky leather boots, I had vivid visions of me in a tux, standing across from her before a candlelit altar. The rest of the room was dark. Apparently, I had caved and granted her a Catholic wedding in a church. There was no way my family wasn’t pissed at me for this kind of heresy. Had they even attended? She smiled and it was not without a smudge of lipstick on her top teeth, marring the dingy enamel and reminding me of an old teacher. I dreaded kissing her and getting that pink shit all over my lips and cheeks.
Wow, was this it? Was this me? Forever? I was only 20-freaking-years-old! Who the fuck let me do this to myself? This couldn’t be it, right? Not her. Not like this. Forever? Fuck that! I darted down the aisle to tons of gasps and grasping hands and flung the double doors open wide. Daylight flooded the nave as I stumbled down the front steps into the street, stepping between cars that skidded to a halt and laid on the horn. Someone cursed at me in Polish. It was a red-faced old man in a tweed cap, fist shaking out of the driver side window. I shouted that I was sorry. I heard Pez shrieking at the top of her lungs from within the ill-lit recesses of the cathedral. Heard her cries bellowing after me with every turn I took, no matter how far I ran or how many times I nearly got splattered by oncoming traffic. Her scream never broke. She hadn’t even taken a breath—
Someone slapped my ass hard, and with that, I was jarred back to reality. Everybody onstage looked at me like I had two heads. Even the musicians were clocking what I was doing, disappointment vague in their eyes. They had no clue how much time I spent treading my own mind. Getting lost in its labyrinthian alleyways of crumbling brick. Dead ends and trap doors. Laughing rooms. Now I was stood in the center of the stage, eyes fixed on the distance; the sea of faces before me becoming a blur of flesh and hair and shadow. Pools of people.
“C’mon, lad!” Lou laughed. “Pull it together, Zayn, mate! You’ve missed your last two parts already!” I listened and heard Liam filling in the gaps. He was a world-class performer with unending supplies of energy, and good at keeping the pace of the show; knowing when to jump in if any of us slacked. I nodded at him across the stage in a silent thanks, before moving to my next choreographed position. Haz was downstage, bobbing with his hands in the air. Extending the mic for the crowd to sing. Niall leapt past me like a crippled gazelle, and I shook my head with a laugh.
“Zaynnnnnnnn!” a fan hollered at the top of her lungs, her voice surfing above the music like she sought to stop me from stepping in front of a speeding car. When I looked over at her, she froze. Mouth hung wide, eyes bulging. So that was the big plan, yeah? Get my attention just to stare at me dumbfoundedly? These people amused me to no end. They didn’t know what was going on half the time any better than we did. Most of these girls didn’t know what they wanted from us because they still had no idea who they were. There were just here, having paid hundreds of dollars for an opportunity to earn our attention, however fleetingly.
In 10 years or so most of them would look back and be humiliated with the way they acted over us. Tossing bras and panties and tampons onstage. Making us slip on condoms and glitter bombs. Asking us to kidnap them and do unspeakable things to their bodies. Asking us to impregnate them, skipping right over marriage and dating. Fainting all over the place. How mortified they’d feel in a few years when the boys and I were all poorly aged and depressed. Addicted to drugs and alcohol and utterly self-loathing. By then they’d see us for what we really were: fallible humans who’d gotten lucky when we were kids. Lost men. Estranged from one another; hollow shells of the poster boys we used to be.
I moved away from her with a grimace and an awkward wave. As I finished up the song with Niall at my side, sweat dripping down his throat, flashbacks continued to plague me. Now I was home, sometime last summer, celebrating my cousin’s marriage to a bird who was at least a foot taller than him. He was super traditional and super religious, so it had been a proper Islamic wedding in a beautiful Mosque of her choosing. Northern England. No booze. It was a rainy summer day.
Before the reception the men all gathered in a tight room in the back of the building where the air was sparse and BO reigned, emitted from bodies doused in cologne. My dad gave a speech that would stick with us all, short tendrils sticking to his forehead with perspiration. He had big piercing eyes. I hated to be the object of their scrutiny whenever he was pissed. Otherwise they were quite stunning and I thought he could’ve made a great Bollywood actor in another life.
He emphasized our roles as men in these holy unions, and above all our undying duty to Allah. Marriage was supposed to be an act of worship, one that should be defined by asceticism, not self-indulgence, extravagance, lust, pride, or vying for social status. My uncle chimed in and said “may Allah show mercy” and “may Allah protect us” at different intervals. I wanted to tell him to shut the fuck up already we get it, but knew that would bring the chagrin of the room down on me. So I just bit my tongue and bided my time.
After a while my dad stopped addressing the crowd and seemed to level his gaze on me across a dozen other sweaty heads. Sometimes it seemed he knew exactly what I was thinking, and that made me wretched. I reckoned not even a handful of my best thoughts would be pleasing to him. I hated when I confused him and God. It was difficult to tell who I ought to please more. Who I wanted to emulate. Who I wanted to heed as I maneuvered through the rest of my days, trying to figure this thing out on my own. Allah seemed entirely apathetic to my struggles, and my dad seemed unforgiving. Beside him, God felt diminutive. For as long as I could remember, this man’s approval was all I sought. It was the metric by which I measured my self-worth and my progress as a man. We shared the same blood. Dreamed a lot of the same dreams. If I could become even half the man he was by his age, I would mark it a hard-won victory in my book.
When I remembered his face from that day, knowing what he expected of me and knowing what my family expected of me at large, what I must’ve represented to them…I was glad I had told Harry to kick rocks earlier. He couldn’t understand what this felt like. He had two dads. If he pissed one off, surely the other one would take him under his wing and he’d still manage to feel self-whole. Or perhaps I was being unfair. Perhaps he struggled more with these things than I gave him credit for. Perhaps he was lost and winging it just as much as I was. I couldn’t tell anymore. Or perhaps I just didn’t care.
“Bro, did you see that bird in the front row?? She must’ve flashed uz like 50 times…I wuz countin’ too…” Lou snickered, passing the jay to me as we lay side by side across his bed. The smoke curled up into the air before wafting away to linger in odd shapes. All the windows were closed, so it accumulated overhead like a storm cloud, reinforcing the severity of our high. Sweat had formed at my temples and along my top lip. Lou’s hand felt hot and clammy whenever he gripped my arm to exclaim something new.
“Forreal? Shit, I must’ve missed her broh…” I exhaled, mind glazing over. Dead-eyed like a rat. Something warm coursed through me and I thought I might’ve pissed myself for a minute. My flesh felt dissolved, like I’d been dropped into a tub of acid by someone looking to do away with my corpse. I was all exposed muscle matter and carbonized bone lying beside to him. Uncontained. Melting like a heated candle. My bits were so scattered. I was in every corner of the room at once. My consciousness astral projected two doors down where I saw an old woman watching violent porn while her husband slept—
“Broooooooo….” Lou shrieked.
“What??” I panicked, looking around to see if someone had entered the room.
“Fuck bro…wait…oh here it is!”
“My hand, bro….my fuckin’ hand!” he laughed hysterically, face turning red. He could barely talk for snickering so uncontrollably. Eyes but dark slits as he gazed at the ceiling. “I couldn’t find my hand, Zayn…” He was thoroughly faded, giggling at shit that hadn’t even happened yet. This was the most potent weed I’d ever smoked in my life. Preston had copped it for us a few days after we landed, and I had no clue how he had pulled that one off since we were in bloody Australia. Who could he possibly know over here to make this happen?
“Yooo….and then I was like…and they were just like…” Lou was telling fragments of a story, as the other half was only being spoken inside his head. I looked over at him and his face caved in. His nose was gone.
“Brohhhh…” I panicked, flattening my hand on his face. “Where’s your fuckin’ nose broh?!”
“Fuckkk, mate, noooo, is it really gone?!” He felt around for it, couldn’t find it, then got really sad. I shook my head, feeling sorry for him, before laying back and losing every trace of sentience.
Later when I came to, he was straight up snoring, but still awake. Now he was gaping at the ceiling, pupils dilated as fuck, like his soul had been snatched. I pinched his nostrils together and he began to cough, snapping out of it.
Every time I moved, the room seemed to veer in the opposite direction, like one of them funhouse tunnels with the spinning floors I was too afraid to go near as a kid. More like a torture chamber than a carnival attraction. Tight little rooms with all the crazy-loud music and flashing lights. Attractions that defied physics, like tables stuck to ceilings. Images pulled straight out of a LSD dream.
“Youh ever think we’re gonna get high one time and just never come back down?” I asked.
“Does that even happen?”
“Yeah, maan, all the time. Maybe not with weed, but…sure, it’s happened. People, like, goh on a bad trip and just never come back. Lost in their own minds. Like a snake devouring itself. There’s a guy who used to walk around me old neighborhood back home…” I rubbed a hand down my face, recalling him with ease. “We used to laugh at him and throw rocks and shit to take the piss…shit seems pretty fucked up now that I think of it.” I shook my head, marveling at the stupidity of youth. “But he was fucked up like that…on like … PCP or sumthin, I heard. Me mum said he used to be normal. Had a job and everythin,’ then suddenly he got messed up, and now just walks up and down the street most days with his mouth hanging open. I don’t know if he still does. Haven’t seen him around in a while…”
“What? You think that’s where we’re headed?”
“I dunno, broh. Sumtimes I worry. This shit was too strong, innit?”
“Nah, you’re just being a bitch.”
“Alright, then. If youh say soh.”
“But you’re good now? Right?” I looked over at him with a grin.
“The question, Lou, is are youh gud, broh? Youh were trippin’ balls for a minute there…”
“All good, lad.” He snorted and swallowed the phlegm. I hated that shit. “So, uh, you noticed Harry today?” he asked. My heart dropped.
“What d’youh mean?”
“He was weird, right? Like…sort of standoffish?”
“But he’s always strange like that?”
“No, but it was, like… extra today. Even Paulie mentioned it.” I could feel my pulse in my face as it raced.
“I dunno, maan. I wasn’t really payin’ much attention to him. Can’t keep up with Haz. He’s all over the place all the time.”
“Soh…about dis marriage ting…”
“Yeah…” he laughed. “Fuck, bro, the first of us to do it? You? Who even are you right now?! I never would’ve guessed it, mate.” He turned to face me, laying on his side with his head propped on his upraised hand. “Perrie’s gonna drive you daft! Just you watch…”
“Think soh?” I wondered, remembering how many times she and I had fought in the past few weeks. Screaming at each other over the phone nonstop. Me walking away from her while she was mid-sentence. Her slapping the back of my head. Me sitting on the balcony until I ran out of smokes. Her flipping me off and locking me outside. She didn’t let me back in until it was dark.
“And she’s gonna drain your bank account, my friend. Mark my words. She seems the type.”
“M’not that stupid, yeah?”
“Let’s hope not.”
“I’ll handle ‘dat. Don’t worry.”
“Dunno…” I shrugged. “I guess I sorta have to.”
“But doesn’t that sort of defeat the purpose of marrying someone to begin with? Where’s all that trust, loyalty, mi casa es su casa? Lookin’ forward to forever together?”
How was he making so much sense right now? Wasn’t he still high?
“Prenups sort of reduce the union to more of a, like, legal transaction, doncha think? D’you know what I mean? Like buying a car, or leasing another person for as long as you’re interested in them. That’s not real marriage, bro. That’s bowling with the bumpers up. Riding around town with training wheels on. If you can’t trust marrying her without a prenup, then maybe don’t hitch your wagon to her train so soon?”
“Broh, shut the fuck up!” I laughed. “What are youh even sayin’ right now??”
“Fuck if I know..” he snorted. “I think m’just annoyed with you, by the way. Ever since you got engaged, El’s mom has been droppin’ hints. Texting me photos of wedding chapels and shit. All these rings and tuxes. Great going, Zayn. You really fucked us. Made the rest of us look like proper dicks for not proposing too.”
“My bad,” I chuckled, coughing a little.
“So, you’re really thinkin of doing it? Like forreal?”
“F’sure, maan. Why not?”
“Daft, bro…pure insanity!”
“What about youh? Wouldn’t youh marry El if youh had to?” He plopped back down on his back and sighed.
“That, my friend, is a difficult question.”
“Is it though? Shouldn’t it be easy if youh love her?”
“That’s not fair!”
“Why, Lou, why is it difficult? Why is it not fair? Don’t youh know what youh want yet? I sure as fuck do.”
“Clearly,” he scoffed.
“Soh what? What’s wrong with knowin’ exactlyh what youh want out of life?”
“We’re just soooo young, Zayn, mate. We really have no idea what we’d want in the long run—”
“Pfffft, not me. I already know, broh. Pez is it for me.” That left an aftertaste on my tongue like a swig of stale coffee. “Soh is El not worth riskin’ it for then?”
“I didn’t say that.”
“Think of the calm.” I whispered, interlocking my hands behind my head as I gazed dreamily into the paint above. “The consistency? Marriage provides normalcy, and over time that breeds peace. Contentment. That’s what I’m after, broh. Peace.”
“Are you deluding yourself here?” There was a hesitancy in his question that spoke of sincerity. He was truly worried for me, yet afraid to voice it.
“Maybe I am?”
“Peace is boring.”
“It can be. But’s it’s also fuckin’ peace, broh. It’s invaluable. And you’ll be begging for it once youh know it’s out of reach. Youh have to grab onto it while youh still can. That’s what we should all be aimin’ for ultimatelyh.”
“We’re still younggg, Zayn. What’s the rush?! You’re supposed to be reckless when you’re young. That’s why they say ‘young and reckless‘ and ‘young and dumb’! Not ‘young and wise’ or ‘young and at peace’! C’mon! Ugh, give me the fast lane, baby, until I’m at least like 25 or something! Shit!” I sat up and looked over at him.
“But that’s what m’sayin’, Lou. M’not like that. I’m chill as fuck—”
“Most of the time!”
“You’re just rushin’…”
“Why wait? What exactyh are youh waitin’ on?! Another girl to come along who might be better than El? More beautiful than El? Someone who fucks better? Basically, mate, youh waitin’ is just sayin’ El’s not gud enough, yeah? She’s just a placeholder then, when youh really think about it. Someone to pass the time with until youh find the one. And that’s fucked up.” All he could do was shrug.
“I guess I never really thought of it like that.”
“See? Exactlyh! Why even wait if youh love her and want to do right by her? And with Pez, it’s like…she’s incredible. She’s my ideal, girl, no doubt. Blonde, gorgeous body, smart, driven, spontaneous, crazy, funny!” I slapped his leg. “And get this broh, get this…we have a similar sense of humor! Huh? That’s like rare in a girl, right? Why not lock that down??”
“You and I also have a similar since of humor, mate. Why not lock me down while you’re at it?” he snickered. I understood his point, but chose to respond stupidly.
“Cause…I don’t do dudes. Sorry, broh.”
“It’s alright. I don’t do ’em either,” he concluded. I lay down beside him, flinging an arm over my face. As an afterthought, I asked,
“Is El at least a good cook?”
“Ah, mate, the worst.”
“Yeah, Pez too. She’s alright in the sack though.”
Back in my room, “Fuckin’ Problems” played quietly when I came out the shower and sat on the sofa in nothing but a towel. Man Of Steel was keyed up and ready to play on the telly. It’d be my third time watching it since it came out. I lit a cigarette and checked my phone, noticing Pez had called a few times. I dialed her back, knowing it must’ve been the middle of the day there and she wouldn’t be pissed that I’d woke her up.
“Heyyy, babe…I was just thinkin’ of you!” she sang.
“Of course, babes. I’m always thinkin’ of ya…” she giggled, speaking to someone off to the side. “He doesn’t even believe me! Have a look at that.”
“I do,” I smiled, taking a pull on the smoke.
“What’re you up to over there? Shouldn’t you be asleep by now?” I could almost see her checking an imaginary watch on her wrist and lifting her upper lip in a funny face. She always did that.
“Youh know how it goes, babe. It’s difficult to sleep after a big gig, yeah?”
“That’s true! I can totallyyyy relate, bubs. It’s like your nerves are just runnin’ away from ya.”
“It’s hard to wind down too, after gettin’ yourself soh charged up to goh out there and even be able to perform. It’s just like youh have to let your battery run out afterwards—”
“Exactly. So what’re you doing to wind down anyweh?”
“Thinkin’ of youh…”
“Aw, babes…m’blushin…” she lilted with a laugh. She was so full of crap. I guess I was too.
“How’s everythin’ over there?”
“Perfect, Z. Super exciting, really. Mum and I’ve been brainstromin’ all sorts of ideas, lookin’ at venues, colors, music, just the works. I’ve even tried out a few cake flavors. My nutritionist would kill me if she knew how much cake I’ve eaten the past couple of days!” I laughed, then quickly sobered.
“Bit early to be tryin cakes, innit?”
“Ugh, I knew he was gonna say that!” she squealed in an aside to her mum. “Ewww, see, I knew he’d say it!”
“C’monnnn Zayn! It’s never too early to try cake!” Debbie shouted from the background.
“Uh, sure, Deb!” I chuckled. “You’re right. I dunno what I was thinkin’…” Perrie put me on speakerphone and the awkwardness was unspeakable.
“I forgive you, son!” she guffawed. Pez got up and walked out of the room and I heard their telly become quieter and quieter as she moved away from it. Now I heard traffic like she’d gone near an open window.
“Can’t wait to see you, babes. What’s it, Brisbane, right? The 19th?” Frank Ocean’s “Pink Matter” crooned around me. I couldn’t stop thinking about wedding cakes. “Z? Y’listenin’?”
“Yeah, yeah…sumethin’ like that. I’ll check the calendar again.”
“Ughhh, babe, I’m so freakin’ horned up over here and you don’t even bloody care!” I cracked up at that.
“I do, I do…I’ll take care of that for youh when youh get here. Till then, youh know what to do.”
“Ew, no! Not when me mum’s in the house! What kinda man are you, pervert?!” I laughed until my stomach ached, which was often the case when I was with her.
A while later after I’d set up shop in bed, I shut the telly off as Man Of Steel had run its course. Now I lay beneath the sheets naked and overly warm. My eyes shut involuntarily, although sleep evaded me. City & Colour’s “As Much As I Ever Could” commanded my headspace, leaving me soft and despondent. Tears formed at the corner of my eyes. Nothing made sense. I should’ve been thinking of her, but couldn’t.
I was wading an unfamiliar waterway at the moment, moving against the current where it brushed forcefully against my legs. Threatening to shove me backwards into its depth; ripping me downriver out of sight. Right back to him. All I had known since I was seventeen. I could barely see through the haze to the other bank, all the dry land that promised safety and a new life with Perrie. An opportunity to move forward, padded on all sides with the safety and predictability of convention. Marriage was like driving with an airbag, always there to stop me from busting my face on the steering wheel whenever I crashed. It would always be: Well, he’s married, so he’s got a good head on his shoulders. He’s not like the other boys, he’s the responsible one. He knows what he wants, that one. So pragmatic.
The opening chords of Bon Iver’s “Perth” filled me with a melancholic craving for bygone times I hadn’t even experienced yet. Somehow I had wandered into the future and witnessed firsthand how much regret awaited me there. Now I was clawing to get back to 2013 and make the right choices. I missed him so much. After looking ahead, I wanted nothing more than to be returned to our chaos, toxicity and pain. It felt like he was dead, but I still had the ability to bring him back to life. Resuscitating him would be resuscitating us. Why had I buried him? He didn’t deserve this. I was up to my elbows in wet dirt trying to claw him out of the ground. I needed him so much. I broke down sobbing, hiding my face behind my arm. He needed to hold me. To reassure me. To tell me I’d made the right choice by breaking up with him. How could I make him validate my decision to let us go? To abandon him in that hallway? I needed him to tell me I’d done the right thing.
I reached and grabbed my phone, blinded with tears. My fingers could barely dial for shaking so badly as I lay propped on one elbow. Answer, answer, answer. I took the sheet and wiped my face clean, scratching up the side of my eye in the process. It stung now each time new tears formed. The call went straight to voicemail. Fuck! I raged, growling internally. That demon in me wanted out. I left a voicemail the second time around, weeping incoherently about how sorry I was that I’d let him walk away. Years on top of years without him flashed before my eyes. I was back in that church, staring across at her and her mum. All the people and objects in the room seemed to confirm it was my destiny to leave him behind.
“Harry…” I breathed when he finally answered.
He only allowed a dry, “Yeah?”
“Baby… please don’t be angry with me anymore.” I sniveled, sounding all of three years old.
“Wus wrong?” he asked, noticing I was crying.
“…one last night, okay? Then we’ll start the no touchin’ and no talkin’ rule. One more night, okay? I just want youh to hold me…”
“Babe?? What the fuck?”
“M’sorry…I get that you’re upset…but fuck no.”
“Soh you’re just not in love with me anymore?”
“What difference does it make?”
“Harry…” I had no idea how to debate him. “…you’re not being fair, babe. I fuckin’ need youh, like now. Seriously…” I croaked. “You’re all I want. Youh don’t even fuckin’ understand what I’m goin’ through right now. Everybody’s pressurin’ me. I can’t fuckin’ be with youh…but I fuckin’ want youh all the time—”
“Are you high?” he asked, deadpan.
“Noh, Haz. Fuck off. M’serious. Please…”
“Mate, I already told you no. I’m not just sitting around waiting to answer your beck and fucking call, alright? Get a grip. I have a life Zayn. I have fucking feelings, alright, which you shat all over earlier. Why are you even calling me? I don’t care that you’re upset. Figure it out for yourself. Just leave me the fuck out of it.” With that, he hung up. I threw my phone against the wall with a holler, but it hit the edge of the balcony and put a massive shatter in the glass. Thankfully it still stood in place and didn’t spray everywhere.
“Fuck!” I barked again, pulling at my hair and punching myself in the head. Then I lay and gaped at the ceiling, tears rolling into my ears.
(Thanks for reading! ❤️)