Love on Tour ♡
Part 18: Fort Lauderdale
A/N: Heyy! I'm back! I'm sorry this chapter is coming with a bit of a delay but I felt pretty sick yesterday. I will however be posting Tampa tomorrow to get back on my usual posting schedule. I really hope you like this chapter!! Send in your thoughts and comments once you’re done reading! With love -Vee
Story Masterlist // 4k words // Ask me anything
Part 18: Fort Lauderdale
October 8 2021
Still New York City
The faint sound of insistent knocking from the front door wakes me up from my slumber. I roll around till I’m laying on my back and groan. It’s too early. I pick up my phone and confirm that it’s barely after 7:00 a.m.
There’s no way that Steven will wake up, he is the heaviest sleeper I’ve ever known, so I close my eyes back hoping that maybe whoever has decided to grace us with their presence this early morning decides to leave after being met with no response. To my lock, they knock again.
I groan and peel the sheets off my body and end up getting up from the bed. I better get this over with so I can come back to sleep a couple more hours. I put on my cream satin robe, the one Harry liked when he was here, and slip on my black Nike slides.I open the door like this, with my hair a mess and my face probably looking as rough as I feel.
All color drains from my face when I see who’s standing behind it.
“Harry, what are you doing here? You are supposed to be in Florida” I blurt out. I’m surprised I’m even able to mutter those words. Seeing him at my front door when I knew he was in Orlando on a stage mere hours ago and having another show in 14 hours all the way in Fort Lauderdale should be enough to leave me speechless “You have a show tonight”
“It doesn’t matter. You’re more important than that” He says and I just look at him with a blank expression.
“You’re here” I repeat, still trying to grasp the fact that he’s really in front of me right now, wearing a white Eliou Earth Day t-shirt and his pink beanie. I scan him up and down and my heart jumps from my chest to the floor when I see he’s wearing a pair of cream linen shorts with a small bunny embroidered on one. A fucking bunny.
“Yeah,” Harry says in a low voice. He looks miserable. The huge bags under his eyes a dead give away that he just flew 6 hours overnight and has probably gotten no sleep at all “I tried to tell you I was on my way but, I think you blocked my number”
He whispers the last part, as if just saying the words hurt him and I suddenly feel a sense of guilt spreading through me. I force myself to think back to Sunday night and get rid of this feeling. It’s not me who should be feeling guilty.
“Yeah, I’m sorry. It was an impulsive decision last night” I say, clearing my throat.
“No. Don’t apologize. You had every right to do it” He says and we just stare at each other for a bit. I wonder if I look as miserable as he does right now and I realize I probably do. I shift my weight from one leg to the other, still holding the door open with one of my hands. Harry brings me back to reality when he clears his throat.
“Can I come in? I really have a lot to say if you give me the chance” He asks and I find myself nodding, even if part of me only wants to slam the door on his face. Maybe it’s the fact that I can’t deny to myself that I am moved by the fact he flew all the way from Florida just to talk to me, but I decide to let him in.
“Let’s talk in my room, Steven is asleep” I say after moving to the side to let him in. I close the door and follow Harry to my bedroom. He looks around for a second, trying to see if something has changed since he woke up in this same place just 72 hours ago.
How can so much change in such a short amount of time, I think to myself.
I close my bedroom door, isolating us from everything and anything and then it’s just the two of us again. I take a deep breath in, trying to calm my nerves and praying that I don’t start feeling claustrophobic. Harry’s presence is too intense.
“Thanks so much for accepting to hear me out” Harry says and I just nod. I swallow down the knot in my throat and walk the few steps to my bed, sitting down on the edge. Harry’s standing in front of me with his back to the door. I don’t dare invite him to sit down next to me. I can’t handle him being that close right now.
I’m already feeling my walls start to crumble just by having him here but I force myself to build them back up brick by brick.
“I talked to Eve, she knows there’s absolutely nothing left of what we once had. I promise Emilia, there is nothing going on there, there never was. She’s a very overbearing person who just decided to show up. I would have never invited her.” Harry says and looks at me, nervous about my reaction.
“Why didn’t you mention her? She had been texting you” I ask in a slow voice. I place both my hands under my things, so that Harry can’t see that my hands are shaking.
“I didn’t think it was necessary because it was never anything romantic. That’s why I thought we were both on the same page that whatever we had was over a long time ago. She had tried to convince me to go to the MET Gala with her and of course I said no. Then she insisted on doing some kind of Vogue special coverage at some of the shows and I insisted she couldn’t come. Everything with her has always been mostly about business.” He keeps on explaining and I just stay quiet. There’s too many questions inside my head and I don’t even know where to begin.
“You could have said something” I whisper and Harry sighs.
“I guess, I didn’t say anything because I thought I was protecting you from this exact same thing that ended up happening. I was in denial that maybe I hadn’t handle things well with Eve” He looks around, our eye contact is too much for him in this right moment
“And also because” He pauses for a second and swallows, like it’s taking all in him to confess what he will say next “I was being selfish too. I was enjoying our little bubble of happiness too much and I didn’t want anything to ruin it or to make things awkward for us. It’s clear what a selfish idiot I was”
I take a deep breath in and look at him. His eyes connect with mine with the most sincere look he’s ever given me. And I just know he’s being completely honest this time.
“Did everyone know about her?” I ask. I’ve been killing myself with thoughts of everyone knowing and hiding it from me.
“Only Jeff and Glenne but it was me who asked them not to tell you, don't be mad at them. Jeff was so mad, he’s never yelled so much as he did on Sunday. He told me plenty of times I had to be completely clear with Eve that we were over instead of just letting it die out. Mitch and Sarah probably thought she was out of the picture a long time ago” He replies.
I nod, relieved that my friends weren’t willingly hiding this from me.
“All of them want to kill me right now. They probably would have already if I weren’t his main source of income” He jokes and I let out the tiniest of chuckles. He smiles a little bit at that.
“Em” He says, taking one step towards me but then stopping himself from getting any closer, not wanting to make me any more uncomfortable “I know I suck at confrontation and communication, it’s because of my faults and mistakes that we’re here now. We are fighting because I’m an idiot that just couldn’t come face to face with Eve and end things with her categorically, and also because I couldn’t come clean and explain it all to you. I can’t believe I ruined the best things that’s ever happen to me”
I look up from where I have been staring at my feet and concentrate on his face, giving him my full attention so he can continue. My heart does a somersault at his words.
“I know I suck at this, Em. Not only have I never felt so” Harry pauses, like he’s trying to look up the correct word to explain how he feels for me, “strongly about anything or anyone, but I’ve also never had a genuine relationship before. All my relationships have either been highly publicized by both our managements, so much that they ended up being ruined, or it was people just using me for my fame, or I just simply didn’t feel this level of connection. I have no idea what I’m doing but the one thing I’m certain of is that all I want is to learn how to be the person you deserve by your side”
He pauses and sighs, like he just let go of a big weight on his shoulders. I just sit in my place speechless, feeling like the loud and rapid thump of my heart inside my chest will leave me deaf.
“I’m willing to do anything, bunny, to be deserving of being that person.” Harry adds and I feel the shell I built around my heart softening slightly. But then I remind myself of the hurt I’ve felt these past few days and how this could all have been fixed earlier. If we had just had this conversation that same night.
“You didn’t come after me” I let out a choked whisper and he looks at me confused. A single tear falls down my face at the memory of what hurts me the most.
“What?” He asks confusedly in a soft tone as well.
“That night in Madison Square Garden, when I saw you with Eve and left the room. You didn’t come looking for me” I tell him. My emotions win this time and more quiet tears slide down my cheeks.
“Oh bunny” Harry says, letting go of all self imposed boundaries and taking a step over to me. He falls to his knees right by my side and grabs my hands that are placed on my lap, holding them both with his own. He uses his other hand to hold my cheek, caressing it softly with his thumb. He looks me straight in my eyes and I have to choke back more tears.
His greenish blue eyes stare deeply into my soul and I’m not sure if lilac is my favorite color anymore.
“I didn’t follow you because I thought giving you some space was the best I could do. Now I realize what an idiot I was. I should have followed you baby” He says, his hand still cupping my face. I let my face fall into his palm, enjoying the feeling of his skin against mine.
I missed his touch so much.
“I don’t want space” I whisper “Not if I don’t ask you to. I just wanted you to come after me and fix everything but you didn’t and now I’m too hurting so much”
He keeps on rubbing his thumb over my cheek and staring into my eyes. I can see tears gathering on the corn of his own.
“I am so sorry Bunny, I don’t think I deserve your forgiveness but I will do everything I can to be deserving of you again if you ever let me.” He whispers. His voice is soft and strained due to him holding back tears.
“I forgive you Harry” I finally let out in a barely audible whisper, but Harry’s face is now so close to mine he hears me perfectly. I see a hopeful glint take over his eye “But I can’t go back to Florida with you”
I see his eyes turn dull again and his face falls. A single tear falling from his eyes this time.
“I’m still too hurt and I can’t just get back with you like this. If I did, while still holding so much hurt inside of me I would only ruin us both in the end and I care too much about you to do that to you. I don’t want to be with you if deep down inside my heart will resent you, I can’t do it” I say and pause, taking a deep breath in so I can continue laying all my feelings on the table.
“It’s not just about Eve you know. She was just the trigger that made all my insecurities and fears resurface. I need some time to heal” I tell him, raising my hand to hold his own that’s on my face. I rub my thumb over his knuckles.
And right this moment realization hits me. After all the hurt of the past couple of days, I still have so much care and tenderness for him inside me. And there’s feelings there that I’m not ready to acknowledge but that I can feel inside me.
I fear Harry would get mad at my words and start fighting me, trying to convince me to come but to my surprise he just nods.
“Take all the time you need, bunny. I will be patiently waiting for you” He says and my feelings for him grow a little bit more inside of me.
“It could take long” I say. I don’t want to give him false hopes.
“It doesn’t matter. You take as much time as you need and I will be patiently waiting for you, if you decide to have me again” He sighs and I know being this vulnerable is not being easy on him today “Emilia, you’re worth every second, minute and hour of wait if it means I will be able to hold you in my arms again. I know you blush and think I am exaggerating when I say that you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me, but I can promise you I have never been so sincere about anything in my life.”
I intertwine our fingers and give his hands a little encouraging squeeze.
“Lia, the happiness I’ve felt ever since you entered my life is something that I’ve never felt before in all my 27 years of existence, and something that I once thought I would never be able to experience. If after you take some time you end up deciding that you don’t want me anymore, I want you to know that I will be forever grateful for our time together” His words make my whole body wake up, a warmth running from my toes to my chest, enveloping my heart.
He raises my hand to his lips and presses a kiss to it and I have to contain myself to not throw away any caution and press my lips to his.
I wish I could tell him how much happiness he made me feel too but the words are stuck in my throat and all I can do is nod.
“I’m going to go now. I have to catch a plane back to Florida” Harry says with a low chuckle, finally breaking our moment as he stands up from his kneeling position on the floor.
I nod and get up as well, following him out of my bedroom and to the front door. I see from the corner of my eye as Steven stares at us from the kitchen counter with a confused expression and I know I will have to explain everything as soon as Harry leaves.
“Steven” Harry greets him formally with a nod of his head and Steven raises his hand in an awkward wave.
“Have a safe flight” I tell him and he nods.
“Please take care Emilia” He tells me before leaving through my front door. My stomach twists as I see his frame disappear behind the elevator doors.
Who knows when we will see each other again.
I close the door and turn around to an expectant looking Steven but I just start to cry again. I had thought I had no more tears left to shed.
After another crying session with Steven, whom I will have to buy the biggest present ever for Christmas this year, I am finally feeling a little lighter. It was not easy to send Harry away again, but deep down I know I did the right thing. I need to give myself some time to heal.
I decide it is time to start moving on with my life again, so I take a long warm shower, letting the water wash away all the remnants of these last couple of days. I even take the time to shave my legs and moisturize my whole body. It’s incredible how therapeutic a little bit of self-care time can be. I leave the shower clean and feeling like a brand new person.
I put on a pair of black high waisted black leggings and a dark grey half zip and decide to finally leave the confines of my apartment for a quick walk around the neighborhood. I leave the apartment after grabbing my mask and my tote bag, the Outdoor Voices one I kept from Harry. It’s going to take some time to completely cleanse myself from him it seems. I walk aimlessly for a while until I decided to make a right towards Thompson Square, the closest park to our apartment. Seeing some green will only make me feel even better.
I sit down on a park bench in front of a green area where there’s a mom with two small kids playing around with a dog and I smile at the view. I take out my phone from my bag and decide to do something I should have done a long time ago.
I press the dial button and raise the phone to my ear, waiting patiently for the call to go through.
“Hola mamá” I say as soon as the call connects and I hear my mom’s soft voice on the other end. (Hey mom)
“Hola mi amor” She greets back and I get teary eyes just at the reminder of how much I missed her voice. (Hello my love) “How are you honey?”
“I’m okay” I say in a low voice that gives me away.
“Mmm” My mom says and I know she already picked up on my lie, but I know her and she won’t push until I tell her myself what is going on “How is your summer adventure going? Are you enjoying life on the road?”
“More or less” I say “I kinda quit, I think. I’m in New York right now”
“Why?” She asks and I sigh. It’s all too complicated to explain through a phone call.
“You know the singer I was working for?” I ask and she hums in affirmation “Well, I kinda got romantically involved with him and we had a falling apart, so I don’t think I can go back on tour”
My voice breaks at the end and I have to choke back tears once again.
“He really hurt me mom” I finally say and my mom stays silent for a bit. I know she’s probably processing this information and figuring out what to say to me.
“Do you love him?” My mom asks and the fordwardness of her question pulls at the strings of my heart. I haven’t even given her details about the situation.
“Why do you ask that?” I say.
“You never really call me to talk about boys so I get this one’s special” My mom says and I know she’s right. None of my past relationships have felt important enough that I’ve called my mom to talk about them “But tell me, do you love him?”
“It’s only been a month mom” I say with a huff.
“That’s not what I asked” She clears her throat “Honey, when I met your dad in Florence we spent two weeks together and then I went home after my studies were done, packed my stuff and moved back to Italy with him. It took us a few days to know we were crazy about each other. I guess it’s in your blood to fall quickly but with certainty”
I chuckle at her last words. Do I really love Harry? It’s all happened so fast.
“I guess I do love him” I finally accept, a new found feeling sitting on the pit of my stomach and running all the way to my chest.
“Well then maybe you should talk to him about it” She says.
“I already did. He flew from Orlando after his show last night and knocked on my door this morning. He flew back again for his other show later tonight” I say.
Mom says nothing and we both fall into silence for a bit, lost in our own thoughts.
“What if he doesn’t feel the same about me?” I say. Now that I’ve accepted my feelings to myself I’ve encountered a new fear of them not being reciprocated.
“Em, you just said he took a 6 hour flight just so he could talk to you and then took another flight back. I’m going to take a leap of faith here and say he loves you back” My mom’s words resonate in my head and I start thinking about all the little things that Harry did or said when we were together. Things that can only be born out of love.
“I don’t know if I can go back with him right now though. I don’t know if we can be fixed” My words sound firm even if I feel like a crumbling mess inside.
“Honey, there is nothing love can’t fix. But let me tell you something. Ask yourself, if you can really forgive him, because love without forgiveness is not worth it. But you have such a kind heart sweetie, if someone is capable of forgiveness it’s you. Emilia, sometimes love has to go through a little pain so that it can blossom” Her words burn in my mind immediately and I know she’s right.
“Don’t be afraid of loving sweetheart” My mom says and I let tears fall from my eyes silently.
I’m crying because she’s right, because I miss her and because I love Harry so much that maybe I am willing to forgive him. But I still have a lot of thinking to do.
“Thanks mom” I say. I’m out of words but my mom knows me and she knows I have a lot in my mind to process right now.
“I gotta go sweetie. Keep in touch okay?” She says.
“Yeah. I love you mom” It’s all say before hanging up.
I sink into the bench I’m sitting on and sigh. I wish things didn’t have to be this complicated.
But maybe they don’t.
I grab my phone again and pull up Harry’s contact, clicking on the Unblock button. I open iMessage and look up for our conversation. A bunch of messages from Harry get delivered as soon as I unblock him. I ignore those for now, typing a quick message.
Good luck in Sunrise tonight xx
I press send and put my phone away, getting ready to walk back home.
Sometimes love has to go through a little pain so that it can blossom.
All I want to get is, a little bit closer
All I want to know is, can you come a little closer?
Here comes the breath before we get, a little bit closer
Here comes the rush before we touch, come a little closer
The doors are open, the wind is really blowing
The night sky is changing overhead
Closer - Tegan and Sara
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