Status: Will be slow in updates as am still in full time education but will try to update as regularly as possible

Better for You

Chapter 20

I awoke to find myself sprawled over Harry, I laid on my side with my leg hoisted up over Harry by his far hip, my head resting on his chest and my arm was wrapped over his body with Harry’s arm laying over my own with his hand resting on my waist. I had awoken from the best sleep I had had in a long time, where I did awaken as a result of a haunting face. Instead I was met with Harry’s sleeping face which filled me with a serenity as I watched his peaceful features. Harry was so handsome I couldn’t help but wonder what on earth I did to deserve him.

Slowly, I unwrapped myself from Harry’s body, trying my best to not disturb his sleeping figure. It was a Sunday and I had nothing planned all day. While I waited for Harry to wake up I scrolled through my social media aimlessly, still dressed in my pyjamas which consisted of an oversized Rolling Stones t-shirt, as I lied on Abby’s bed

“Well that’s a sight I could get used to,” I heard Harry speak with a raspy morning voice which sounded insanely attractive.

“Oh yeah, you sure?” I asked as I pushed my chin to my neck, creating a very unattractive double-chin.

“Breath taking.” Harry stated causing me to let out a chuckle.

“Have you got any plans for today?” I asked Harry as I turned off my phone and turned to Harry, giving him my full attention.

“Actually yea, Zayn and I planned to chill for a bit later.” Harry told me and I nodded my head.

“So, when will you need to go?”

“Probably in an hour or so if that’s alright with you?” Instead of replying, I nodded and got up to Harry, straddling his waist and placing a kiss on his lips.

“What was that for?” Harry asked me as I pulled away from him.

“Because I can” I simply replied, shifting my weight as I prepared to get off of Harry, but instead Harry’s hands went to my thighs as he secured me on top of him.

“Not so fast” Harry whispered as he leaned up and sealed my lips against his and electricity went shooting through my veins at the contact. Harry’s kisses were by far the best kisses that I’ve ever had in my life. They filled me with a giddy feeling and something else much deeper.

As I pulled back from Harry I stared into his beautiful green eyes for a few long seconds as they stared back at me and I felt myself fall even deeper in-love with Harry. “Uhm, do you wanna go for breakfast?” I asked Harry, to which he nodded his head as he got up and we both prepared to leave the house.

After my breakfast with Harry I was filled with a both surprising and unsettling emptiness on my drive back to my dorm. As a result, I made a last-minute change in decision to visit the beach. It was mid-November and it was freezing but this was where my dad used to me when we came over to the states and I didn’t want to feel alone.

I was dressed in a grey jumper and mum jeans which I rolled up slightly as I walked down the beach bare-foot. The beach was fairly empty with just a couple of families having a picnic on the sand. I was freezing cold but that didn’t bother me. All that I could focus on was the memory of my father and I on this beach. This was our happy place, our sacred place where we went, just the two us. We would play beach games, splash around in the sea and have ice-cream afterwards and it was always the highlight of our holidays.

My father was my best-friend. We got along well and he protected me from my mother and her obsession with us being the picture family. My dad was my warrior but he needed to be saved too, and I couldn’t save him.

My dad had battled with depression his whole life, but my mum refused to acknowledge it; she couldn’t get her head around the concept that depression was an illness. And so as result my mum refused to allow my dad to have treatment to fight his demon. I had tried to be there for him but I couldn’t be there for him the way that he needed me to be.

I could see my dad’s mental health declining every day, as could my mum but there was nothing that we could do to stop it, and on January 13th he jumped in front of a train and died. I got a call on that day asking me to come into the police station and confirm that it was my father’s corpse that had been retrieved as my mother couldn’t bear to see his dead body herself. And so, as a punishment, every night I am haunted by my father’s lifeless face and I am reminded of what I did, or what I couldn’t do.

It had taken me a long time to adjust to life after my father had left my mother and me. I was only 17 when he left us and I didn’t know what to make of the whole situation. My father had taught the importance of respect and so I chose to respect his death. I chose to respect his wishes and understand that if this was what he wanted then I was going to make peace with it and respect that it was his decision to make.

My father’s death had also caused a divide between my mother and I. My mum could not stand the pity that people gave us and wanted to show that we were doing ok and so her obsession with us being the perfect family became almost pathological. My mother became obsessed with my diet and appearance which only made me feel that I was never perfect enough for her, that wasn’t skinny enough or pretty enough for her; and it fucked me up.

I felt the sea water trickling through my toes as I stood where the waves could wash over my feet. The water was freezing but I could hardly feel it. My body felt numb all over, I felt like I had the day that when I saw my father’s haunting face.

For some strange reason, I felt a force luring me towards the ocean as I tuned out the rest of the world and I walked into the water. Each stride I made took me deeper into the ocean, the water rising on my body. I was vaguely aware of the icy feeling on my skin, but I couldn’t focus on that, I kept on walking. When the water hit my chest, I felt a sudden tug on my shoulder, but I didn’t react. The hand turned me around and I was met by an alarmed face of a man who grabbed my forehands and led me away from the water. I could see the man’s lips moving as he escorted me out of the ocean but I couldn’t hear a word that he said; I could only hear the rising and falling of the waves.

The man sat me down on his picnic blanket and wrapped another blanket around me as I sat with my hands hugging my legs to my chest, staring out into the ocean which had rough waves crashing onto the sand.

The man then came to crouch down in front of me and I diverted my attention to him. He had thin brown hair, brown eye, light stubble and appeared to be in his 40s. “What were you doing in there? You would have died.” The man asked me and I lowered my eyes to my hands as they fidgeted.

“I-I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you do that. I don’t know why I did that.” I answered the man, warily lifting my eyes to meet his inquisitive ones.

“Are you ok?” The man asked and I felt that his question meant much more than he let on.

“Yes, I’m alright,” I replied, “thank you for what you did, but I should go.” A frown took over the man’s face as he scrutinised my face, searching for a hidden message. “Really, I’m fine.” I reassured him, adding a smile which seemed to just about fool the man as he nodded his head and stood up, offering a hand as he helped me up as well.

“Just, uhm, be careful. If I wasn’t there I don’t want to think about what could have happened.” The man warned me and I forced a smile in response, nodding at him as I turned and walked away.

When I reached my car, I got inside and put the heating on full blast as my soaking wet clothes gripped my body and sent goose bumps across my skin. The car journey back to my dorm wasn’t long and I drove in a silence as I tried to piece together what had just happened. Had I tried to get myself killed or was it a mistake? All I knew was that I was not ok.

I took the stairs two at a time to get to my dorm room, and once inside I peeled my clothes off of me, not paying any attention to Abby who was sat on her bed. “Whoa, is it raining outside?” Abby asked me, confused at my soaked appearance.

“No, I uhm, I went to the beach and fell into the sea by accident,” I lied to Abby as I wrapped a towel around my body and walked off to the showers.

Thankfully the showers were empty due to it being a Sunday afternoon and so I was able to complete my shower in ten minutes. When I got back to my room I quickly got changed into an over-sized t-shirt and some tracksuit bottoms, I wasn’t in the mood for going out.

“So, have you got anything to tell me?” Abby asked me and I frowned at her question, she didn’t know about what happened at the beach, did she? No, surely, she couldn’t.

“W-What do you mean?” I stammered, as I looked away from Abby and instead turned my attention to my phone as I got up Instagram and began scrolling through it.

“I mean, you had a date last night with that cute guy from you Law class.” Abby said and I suddenly realised what Abby meant and I sucked in a deep breath, how was I going to explain this to Abby without her getting angry with me.

“Yeah, uhm, about that.” I trailed off, trying to find the right words to explain to Abby what had happened last night. “Well, Harry showed up at my dorm and said all of this stuff and I knew I’d be lying to myself if I said that I didn’t have feelings for him and so I decided to not lie to myself and to be with Harry.” I explained to Abby and she immediately rose from her bed as she marched over in front of me and shook my shoulders. “Hey!” I exclaimed at her.

“Izzy, why do you do this to yourself? You said you’d be civil with him, not this!” Abby reprimanded me and I brought a hand to my forehead as I sighed.

“I know I did.” I replied, my voice sounding neither angry or defensive.

“Harry can’t be what you need Izzy and you know that.” Abby reminded me, as she looked at me with growing empathy on her face as she sighed and hugged me.

“He said he wants more with me Abby, he’s exactly what I need.” I told her as I pulled back from her hug so that I could see her reaction. Abby’s features morphed into an expression of confusion as he eyebrows furrowed and she cocked her head to the side as she looked at me.

“But Harry doesn’t date.”

“He broke his rule.” I simply replied, a smile on my face which Abby mirrored and hugged me again. As I looked past Abby’s shoulder I saw my sodden clothes from earlier today and my heart felt heavy as I hugged Abby back, guilt flooding me as I thought about what I had nearly done earlier today.

I knew that telling Abby would break her heart and so I decided, in that moment then, that I would never tell anyone what had almost happened, hoping that I could add that skeleton to my closet and keep it locked far away.