I groan as the noise bursts through the white walls of my room. I consider pretending to be asleep, and to disappear under my pillow, but I know he won't hesitate to drag me out if he has to. I haul myself off my bed and trudge out of the room, my head pounding all the way. I try focus on Louis’ form, sprawled out carelessly on the couch. He has his phone in one hand and a carton of orange juice in the other.
“Is there a particular reason why you decided to swallow a microphone?” I mumble to him, sitting down on his tummy. I knock the breath out of him, and he is gasping. He pushes me off, effectively spilling some of his juice on me, and I fall toppling to the ground, landing on my bum.
I look at him sourly, and brush the droplets of orange liquid off my face.
“Well don't you look absolutely fine today.” he says, raising his eyebrows at me.
"Shut up." I mutter, massaging my temples.
"Seriously though, I mean I could convince El to let you borrow her concealer or whatever it's called. No offense mate, but those panda eyes need to go. I don't think the photographer's gonna be super happy tomorrow."
“How long did the doctor say this fever would last?” Louis asks, tapping away at his phone.
“I don’t know.” I groan. "He said it could take a while and that I need to drink more water. Why I need to go to a person with a medical degree to tell me to drink more water, I fail to understand."
Louis shakes his head. He ruffles my curls and turns on the TV. He flips through the channels until he lands on MTV, where, not surprisingly, they're playing our new single. I make a face at the way I look in one of the scenes. The song is nearly at it's end, and I sense Louis tapping his fingers along to the beat. The song changes, and as soon as it starts playing, my face drains of colour. I can feel my heartbeat rise, and I can't breathe.
I can't breathe because I know this song all too well. This is the song. The song I made a promise to. The song I made a promise that I would never leave, that I would never hurt her. But that was before she hurt me. Louis knows this song too, because he quickly switches the channel and throws me an apologetic glance.
I wave him off, trying to get control over my pounding heart. I swallow the hurt and the anger, get up, and sit next to him on the sofa. He puts his legs across my thighs, a gesture both of us have gotten used to.
I turn to look at him. His blue eyes are studying me.
“What?” I question.
“When are you going to tell me, Harry?”
I sigh softly. I try to think of something to change the topic, but my brain is dead and the only thing that surfaces to my eyes is the image of her with her makeup-stained cheeks and red nose. Louis sits up.
“Harry, it’s been five years. You can’t keep this to yourself. I mean, you guys were perfect for each other.”
I snort. “Apparently, not perfect enough.”
I was broken when I saw her kissing Sean. It tore me apart, and I remember stumbling through that house, the music blasting in my ears. The world had entered a haze, a haze I thought would never clear, because I thought we had had something special.
“Harry.” Louis says softly. I turn to look at him. “You have to tell me.” He said.
I take a deep breath. I had never told anyone what had happened between Hannah and me. Not even Louis.
“I saw her kissing someone else. Sean.” I finally say.
“You what?” Louis asks, disbelief lacing every syllable.
“I saw her kissing Sean! Sean Everdale! I saw them snogging at that New Year’s party at your house!” I say, my voice rising with pain and anger. I'm fighting so hard to keep the tears at bay, and to keep my hurt inside of me.
“HARRY!” Louis suddenly yells. He stands up, shock creasing every inch of his face. “You broke up with Hannah for that?!”
Now my voice is laced with disbelief, and my mouth is open. “What do you mean, that?” I demand, anger flooding through me at my best friend, “She was cheating on me!”
"Oh my god!" Louis cried, putting his head in his hands. "You've got to be kidding me! Are you serious?! Harry Styles, what the hell is wrong with you?!" His face is red, and he's cursing under his breath.
"Louis, what is wrong with you?!" I ask, "You're making no sense at all".
"That wasn’t Hannah! That was Natalie!” Louis yells, taking his head out of his hands.
I sit there, dumbstruck, with my mouth wide open. “N-Natalie? But isn’t she Hannah’s twi-” I stop.
And then it dawns on me. That wasn’t Hannah. Hannah would never do that. Hannah was mine, and she made sure to tell me that every day. It wasn't Hannah. It was Natalie. Hannah’s twin sister.
Hannah’s identical twin sister.
“Harry! Listen to me! Natalie had started dating Sean on Christmas that year! She didn’t want anyone to know, but she told Hannah, and I heard them talking about it! Hannah made me swear not to tell anyone!”
I barely hear anything. The world's gone into that haze again, the same haze that defined that night. The anger has evaporated from my system, but a dead, silent emptiness has replaced it. I feel like my blood is made of oil, and my bones are lead. I don't hear a word Louis is yelling. I look up. I look into his eyes.
“What have I done?” I ask, and the tears break free, dripping down my face.
“You ruined her, that’s what you did! Did you even let her explain?” He asks, sitting down next to me, his face flushed with anger and shock. I shake my head slowly, biting my lip so hard that I taste the blood on my tongue.
“Harry, you are seriously the biggest idiot on this planet. That girl was perfect for you. You were perfect for her.” Louis keeps shaking his head.
“You know what she did after you broke up with her?” he asks, his voice commanding me to listen to him. “I found her crying on the street. She wouldn’t tell me why you broke up with her.”
“Oh my god.” And that’s all I can muster. My mind has so many whirling thoughts, a tornado of emotions that break me. The whirling memories come back as well, and all of it combined just makes me realize that I lost the one person I loved because I was too stupid to try and reason.
“I thought you’d have been able to recognize your own girlfriend, Harry!” Louis says. I know he’s absolutely correct in being angry with me.
He stands up. “I heard that she lives in London now.” And with that, he gave me one last pitiful look and walked away to his room.
Tears fell in steady flows from my eyes. I rubbed my face with my hands, drying some of the tears. I take a deep breath, but it does nothing to steady me. Nothing does, and I sit there for a long time because I feel numb, and I can't move or think because I broke my promise. I broke my promise.