Love & War

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Rule Number Three: Never answer the call of an "old friend", especially the one of the green-eyed variety.

Without another thought, I pushed the red blinking decline button on the large plastic desk phone. I couldn't possibly answer it, I couldn't possibly hear the deeply accented voice on the other side of the line.

Today had started out horrible, the little, black Jimmy Choo's that I had bought only a few days ago had gotten stuck in the storm drain outside of my apartment. The result being the heel being cracked clean off, it didn't stop there, no, five minutes ago when I saw the name "Harry Styles" on the call display I dropped hot latte all over my legs. The skin still tingled from being burnt. Underneath the tweed material of my skirt, my skin was a deep red.

I wouldn't dare say Harry was a bad omen because I always had problems with luck. It's just he wasn't making it any better.

Huffing, I let my head drop down onto the hard-oak desk, ignoring the tall stack of paper that surrounded me. Mr. Livingston was a hard a.ss, not once easing up on the paperwork of his clients. That was the wonderful world of adulthood, not being able to catch your breath.

"Ana, he's calling again. Instead of going to your direct line he's harassing me on the front office line" Ethel, the small, nerdy secretary that sat at the front, peeked around the large glass door. I raised my head from my exhausted stance to give her a tight smile.

"He says he's an old friend, maybe you should answer?" she shrugged sweetly. Oh, how she had no idea how bad that idea would turn out to be. The cruel world hadn't spoiled her yet, things apparently went well with her whenever she had talked to an old friend.

Harry was a rotten egg, someone who always needed the attention to be on him. Heaven forbids the world forgot about him and continued to turn. Apparently destroying the champagne tower at my engagement party wasn't enough.

Sighing, I brushed the few scattered hairs off my forehead "Send him through".

With a quick nod, she closed the door and I was left with the realization that I had done something I would soon regret.

Five minutes. Five minutes was all I would give him before ending the call. Whether he had finished speaking or not.

The small red-light flashes again on the phone and I am quick to pick it up.

"And what exactly did I deserve to have the great Harry Styles call me while I'm knees deep in divorce papers?" hard work was something that Harry wasn't aware of, while he was traveling the world chasing a criminal, the rest of us were doing adult things, like going to college.

A deep chuckle breaks the electronic wave, I can almost imagine the dimpled smile on his face.

"You were never one to accept an apology, I would know" he teased, the comment, however, was much deep seeded than I would have like to admit. It framed a previous time in our lives when I was able to stomach Harry. Before he believed we allowed him something for his misfortune.

"And what exactly would that apology be? That you're sorry you crashed your poor brother's engagement party because you can't bear for someone to be happy?" my voice cracked, showing that I was more invested in my feelings and this situation than I would've liked.

Harry wasn't invited to the engagement party, mostly because no one had the slightest idea where he currently resided until twenty- four hours ago. Partially because I didn't want him there, he had a fine way of making things about himself.

"Exactly that, actually. I wanted to excuse my behavior and say sorry. I want to make it up to you. Drinks on me. Say Friday?" the other end of the phone went silent as Harry waited for me to respond. His way of extending an olive branch.

If I knew anything, I knew that he wasn't sorry for what he did. There was something underlying the apology, a fragment he believed would gain him something.

I clutched the phone closer to my ear, the smell of spray tan radiating off my hand into my nose. The history between me and Harry was a long, painful one, one that made sure of making me feel horrible.

Gaining confidence, I stiffened, "That's not a good idea Harry, besides I have cake tasting that day". My tone was the matter a fact, there wasn't any time for Harry and his games, not now anyway.

"Liar" he teased, "It's a great idea, I'm your brother by law now. Pretty please?".

It was as if he was a predator luring its next meal into its den. I would take the offer, not because I believed it was a good idea but because I had to make an effort to try.

"Fine, I'll give you thirty minutes on Friday. Bye Harry" I hung up the phone faster than he could answer. You could tell yourself not to allow toxic people into your life until you were blue in the face, but sometimes you had to drink a little poison to become stronger.

And Harry Styles was just that. Poison.

  © 2017, thirteen13blue

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