Status: complete;;

Right Now

She Was Cryin' on My Shoulder

Louis cocks his head the longer Brianna stays silent, and his blue eyes are narrow in his confusion. His arms hang loosely at his side; in the moment, he looks an awful lot like a puppy who has been scolded and doesn’t know why. As Bri draws in a shaky breath, she glances at me from the corner of her eye. I back slowly out of the kitchen, putting my hand out behind me to prevent me from running into something. This is something I don’t want to get in the middle of. Unfortunately, I don’t get very far up the stairs before the voices in the kitchen rise in volume. I run up the rest of the staircase, not even bothering staying quiet, and hurry to my room. I’m disappointed to realise that music does little to drown out the sounds coming from downstairs, but I try my best to focus on the lyrics and not the fact that my best friend is unbelievably upset and there’s nothing I can do to fix it. My phone buzzes in my back pocket.

From: Harry Hey there.
From: Harry How’s it going?

To: Harry Good, I suppose. You?

From: Harry Honestly? I’m bored. Mind numbingly bored. Can’t be fussed to find anything to do, either.

To: Harry Sounds about right, yeah. :p

From: Harry At least you have Brianna to keep you company

To: Harry Not really. She’s a bit… preoccupied at the moment.

From: Harry Oh… Do I want to know?

To: Harry Probably not lol

From: Harry You coming to the studio tomorrow?

I bite my lip and stare down at the message. Though I’ve been asked a few times to join them at the studio while they record their album, I haven’t ever felt comfortable enough to accept; what if they’re only asking to be polite? I chew at the edge of my thumbnail and type out a response one-handed.

To: Harry Maybe? Do you want me to? For real?

From: Harry Of course I do! I think it’ll be fun. Plus, you can tell us if we should quit the band

To: Harry I guess I’ll see you then.

Harry’s responding text is full of smiley emojis. My fingers pause in the process of replying when I notice the house has fallen silent. I turn off my music, creeping out of my room and down the hall. My heart breaks once I enter the kitchen.

[Harry’s POV]
I smile widely when I read Koty’s message, doing an awkward fist-bump in my happiness. Though we don’t know her very well, she seems like a great person. She is a lot more reserved than Brianna, talks less, which makes me wonder how they even became friends in the first place, but there is something in her eyes , something she's guarding with all of her might. The voice in my head says I need to figure it out and help her. It’s unexpected, really, that I'm so protective of her, considering we’re nearly the same age, but it isn't hard to figure out why - she comes across as much more delicate.

I sigh, letting my phone drop to the cushion beside me. I don't fancy Koty, but I know the others will think I do if I mention anything about what I'm feeling toward her. Liam suddenly appears in the doorway to the living room, taps on the arch.

“Oi. You heard from Lou?” He frowns when I shake my head. “Odd. I tried messaging him shortly after we got here to ask if I could stay round at his again, but he hasn't answered.”

“Maybe he and Bri are doing something,” I suggest, remembering how Koty said Brianna was preoccupied.

“Hm. Maybe.”

He gives me a smile and walks away. I turn my attention back to the television only to look away when my phone beeps.

From: Brianna Mind if I come over? I need out of here

To: Brianna Sure. What’s going on?

From: Brianna I’ll be there soon

The shortness of her response is disconcerting. Brianna rarely ever sends such concise text messages. My puzzlement only grows when the front door opens and she steps in carrying a gym bag; her eyes are red and swollen, tear tracks dried on her splotchy cheeks. In her apparent rush to leave the house she shares with Louis, she didn’t bother - or care enough - to put on matching shoes. One foot is encased in a ballet flat, the other in a trainer. I stand and immediately wrap my arms around her tightly, and she begins crying within seconds.

“Oh, love, what happened?”

She shakes her head, and I stifle a sigh but lead her to my bedroom, hoping neither Zayn nor Liam has seen her in her current state. Bri is one of the funniest, toughest, most solid girl we know; she never bat an eyelash when she met Paul - and he is incredibly intimidating on a good day! So I know she’ll never forgive herself if anyone else is witness to this side of her. I close the door quietly behind us, take her bag from her, and toss it toward the bed. She leans against my chest again.

“Bri, can you tell me what’s going on? You’ll have to speak louder than that, love, if you expect me to hear you,” I murmur into her ear after she whispers something inaudibly.

She finally pulls away, scrubbing a hand over her face. “I don’t wanna talk about it. Not right now. Can I stay here for a couple days?”

“Sure, not a problem.”

Brianna nods slowly, turns away. I tuck her into bed, making sure the duvet is pulled up to her chin. Her breath shudders as I exit the room. Grabbing my phone off the couch, I make my way to the kitchen to put some tea on. There are a couple of new text messages waiting.

From: Dakotaaa Is Brianna there with you???
From: Dakotaaa Haz? Please tell me she’s there.

To: Dakotaaa Yeah, she showed up about 15 minutes ago. Do you know what the bloody hell is going on?!

Brianna is fast asleep, her tea half-empty and cooling rapidly, by the time Koty messages back with one word: No.
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title credit don't ed sheeran