chapter 26

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-S-e-p-t-e-m-b-e-r-

-O-c-t-o-b-e-r-

November

I woke to the sheets twisted uncomfortably around my feet, a muffled bang having broken my peaceful slumber. I heard Harry hiss expletives and concluded that he'd stubbed his toe, listening to his moans and grumbles as he hobbled around the room. I lay still, silently, trying to conjure up the dream I'd been having. It was tucked away in an unreachable corner of my mind, inaccessible to me no matter how hard I tried to recall it. I had snippets - the bright lights of a hospital and a bed that smelled like disinfectant. Harry had been there, too. Grasping my hand desperately, whispering something urgent in my ear. I'd started screaming. And then I remembered nothing.

I felt a subdued sense of disappointment, but all at once thought that maybe it was for the best that I couldn't bring my dream to mind. I had this imminent sense that it hadn't been a pleasant one; perhaps I'd blocked it off from myself subconsciously. It had been a really awful one, actually, given the chilling feeling of sadness and horror that still lay fresh in my gut. I gulped, shaking the thoughts of my nightmare away. It was only a dream. No point in getting fussy over it.

I rolled over at a leisurely pace, my swollen 29 week bump completely hindering my movements these days. I had to sleep on my side with a pillow propped under my abdomen, and still I was woken every hour or so by the little devil tossing and turning inside me. I could have sworn I was giving birth to some sort of nocturnal creature, he was up that much at night. Kicking me brutally in the ribs with strong little legs. Though the aching pain of his movements were nothing compared to Harry's unsympathetic nature. My mouth went dry as I thought about how he'd once cooed over my bump, how he'd massage my shoulders when I was unable to sleep. Nowadays he just grumbled in irritation when I rolled around, desperately trying to find comfort, moaning about how he had an early morning.

He'd changed so much these last couple of months. I didn't like the new side of him - the Harry that was moody and irritable and quiet. He made me uneasy and insecure. He made me feel like he was having second thoughts.

I turned towards the window, my head swirling as I tried to remember what I had to do today, and then realised there was nothing. My agenda was free once again, and Harry was out of the house, doing signings of their new single. The fans had come out in huge numbers to see them while I watched from the sidelines on the odd day I got to tag along. Where Harry was usually given gifts of things like cuddly toys and foam swords and condoms and playboy magazines, he was now receiving generous donations of babygros and playschool toys and little hats. Some fans even went so far as to make their own - one girl had printed a tiny onesie with the 1D logo, and another gave him a t-shirt with 'My daddy's in a band' plastered on it. He accepted them all with a smile and a warm thank you, and those were the moments when I hoped that my worries of him having doubts were all in my head before conspiring that he was simply acting up for the crowd. I wondered if it was all just a show, and if he wanted this baby at all. I worried he'd leave me alone. That he didn't love me like he used to.

As I glanced towards the window my eyes bugged, an amused smile curling my lips upwards. I feasted my eyes on my perfect view. The silhouette of Harry's naked form turned from me in the dim Winter morning light, his bare backside on display as he hid his body behind the curtain, peering out at the view below from around the side. Curls splayed like a halo around his head, his long legs pulled together, the sinewy muscles of his back and the bulk of his arms driving my imagination wild. I bit my lip against a giggle, watching silently as he stared out.

My hand closed noiselessly around my phone on the bedside table, my body raising with effort from the mattress. Hoisting myself up was difficulty nowadays. I raised the camera, smiling widely as the image of his pure perfection filled the small screen, tapping the screen when I was satisfied with it. The snapping shutter noise rang out loudly through the silence and Harry swivelled on his heel, eyes settling on me and crinkling in a confused, but humorous, grin.

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