I slid into a red and white checkered booth, soaking up the general atmosphere. I cracked a small, weary smile. Everyone seemed so happy, so joyful, munching happily on their fries as the new lovers teased each other or the older couples played peek-a-boo with their infants. Glancing back down at my tough, army pants, my smile faded. I sighed and bit my lip. It was still two hours until the bus came to pick me and my regiment up and deploy us to Iraq.
“Can I take your order?”
I shifted my eyes quickly up to the pretty little girl that stood over me. Her thick, curly brown hair was pulled into a high ponytail with a light blue ribbon. I caught my breath and offered a gentle smile.
“I’ll just have a soda,” I told her politely and she nodded, jotting it down swiftly on the pad she held in her hand. She glimpsed up at me nervously and then back at what she had written down. I raised an eyebrow and she just shook her head, one side of her mouth quirking up into a sad smile.
“I was just wondering…,” She trailed off, her eyes on my uniform.
“Oh,” I answered dumbly. “Yeah.”
She smiled weakly and nodded again, regretfully turning on her heel as began to walk away. I suddenly couldn’t help myself.
“Um, wait!” I called after her, standing up roughly, stumbling over. She whirled around, her eyes wide with surprise. “Would you-,” I scratched my head nervously. “Would you like to maybe sit down and talk for a bit?”
She bit her lip to hold back an excited smile and took a step backwards. “I’m kind of busy right now.” My heart sank. “But I’m off in an hour and I know somewhere we can go.”
“So you’re eighteen?”
“Yup,” I answered, cracking her a smile. “Starting from about two days ago.”
“Oh!” She looked staggered. “Well, happy belated birthday! I wish I had a present to give you.” She really did sound like she regretted it. I gave her a soft chuckle, and glanced shyly up at her wide smile.
“My dad left my mom when I was just a kid. We’re kind of desperate for money, and this is the best I can do right now.”
I and the girl from the café sat alone on the pier just a few minutes outside of town. She had changed out of her work uniform and into a cute little polka dot skirt and fifties styled blouse, her hair still tied up loosely in the ribbon. She let her pale legs swish around in the clear blue water and I watched as the ripples it made danced over the water.
“My dad was in the army when I was little,” She murmured quietly, I looked back up at her in surprise.
“Really?” I questioned. She seemed like she had had such a happy, quiet life.
“Yeah.” A small smile wavered on her lips. “But for only about a year. All I remember is my mom being so worried almost all the time.”
A long silence stretched out between us and she stared out at the endless waters, her blue eyes glazed over. I snatched the opportunity and admired how beautiful she actually was. She didn’t wear much makeup like most girls tended to wear these days, but she didn’t really need it. She had fair skin and a soft pink blush lightened up her cheeks. A soft breeze abruptly swept across the dock and stirred her stray hairs around her petite face.
Suddenly, she turned to me and caught me staring. I caught my breath. A strange look came over her face and her body seemed to release a giant breath of air.
I suddenly spoke. “I’m sorry if this seems abrupt but,” I stopped, licking my lips to prolong the moment we held between us. “I don’t really have anyone to write to while I’m away. And I bet you have a boyfriend, but it’s not really like that. I kind of just need someone to talk to.”
Her faces remained unchanged, but she extended one of her hands out and gently brushed a curly from my eyes.
“I’d love too,” She promised. I stifled the urge to kiss her right there and then and offered her a crooked smile.
I took her small hand in mine and cradled it against my face before standing up with a sigh, pulling her up with my hand. She stood, brushing off the nonexistent dirt from her skirt.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t think I even got the chance to catch your name,” She told me, realization striking on her face. “Mine’s Allie.”
I grinned. “It’s Harry. Harry Styles.”
I’ve been doing lovely, and I’m glad you’re holding up yourself. It gets tough out here sometimes but I always find a way to think of you, of home. That day on the pier was something magical and I can’t wait to meet you there again one day. When I’m afraid or cold I always go back to the warmth of the sunshine, your curly hair blowing in the wind, and the feel of your cool hand on my cheek. I won’t be able to write for a while but don’t listen to what everyone else is telling you, love. I’ll be home soon. And we can be together, just like I promised.
With love, your dearest Harry
I swallowed back my tears with a hard gulp and took a deep breath, drinking in the hurriedly scrambled words on the page. With one last glance, I folded it up and slid it into the little brown box I kept under my bed, filled with all the letters Harry had written me over the past eight months. I had been accused of losing my mind, of being young and reckless, but Harry and I had fallen for each other. We didn’t need any more than that day on the pier. I loved Harry and it wasn’t foolish of me to do so. He’d come back just like he promised and we could be together.
“Allie!” I heard my mom’s muffled voice call from downstairs. “You’re going to be late for the football game!”
“Coming!” I called back, kissing the old wooden box before pushing it back under my bed.
The crowd roared and came to life with a breath of excitement, screaming and jumping, making the old metal bleachers rock. I uncomfortably scratched my shoulder, irritated by my thick, hot band outfit. I held my piccolo in ready position and squinted my eyes to see the over lit football field in the hot stadium lights. My principle then walked out onto the field and the crowd grew quiet with anticipation. I licked my lips impatiently.
After the Lord’s Prayer was said, I prepared myself to play the familiar anthem, when suddenly the principle grabbed ahold of the mike again to interrupt.
“I’m sorry folks, but just let me have one more minute,” His voice boomed. I heard a few around me grown loudly and shift with irritation. “I’d like you all to bow your heads in a list of local troops who have recently lost their lives to battle.”
I heard someone curse quietly behind me and I rolled my eyes, dropping my hands to my side again and closing my eyes, sweat beginning to bead on my forehead. A heavy silence hung over the auditorium and I swallowed hard.
“Luke Woodrow,” His voice began in monotone. I held my breath. “Jake Taylor, Nick Johnson, Weston Crews…” He slowly and painfully read of the names, time ticking by in an endless array. About twenty names were read that night, and I wondered if any of them were Harry’s friends. I made a mental note to write him about it later. My mind began to wonder but my attention was caught quickly by two words that would completely change me forever. My breath caught in my throat and I felt my knees go weak as I fell to the ground.
this is amazing. yet, so sad. never going to let one of these pass on my dash. never. they’re too beautiful.
That was possibly the most depressing thing ever W H Y
Lemme just say. To all the bitches who are getting mad about Zayn not being there for a few shows you can honestly go fuck yourself because if you've ever lost someone in your life you'd fucking understand why he had to leave.