Dreary was the only word that one could use to describe the autumn months in Indiana. That statement proved to be true as I drove. The clouds were a spooky gray and I still felt chilly even though I was snuggled into my Columbia. The smell of rain wafted through the air, and the trees were barren of leaves besides the few colored ones that seemed to be clinging on for dear life.
My newly acquired best friend sat beside me in the passenger seat, her teeth chattering just as much as mine seemed to be. Her name was Amelia and I had met her on my first day of senior year. She was new and was sitting alone at lunch until I had asked her to come sit with us. She was great and she had easily replaced Olivia who had traveled to Maine for her freshman year of college.
"I hate surprises, Lily. Where the heck are we going?" She asked irritatedly. In the time we had been in the car, she had presumed over four positions. This time she had her legs in her seat and her head on the arm that was resting on the middle counsel.
"Here," I answered, a smile playing on my lips. The place was just as dead as I remembered it to be. The sign that said "Smith's" was missing more than half of its letters, and I could practically smell the records from my car.
"What exactly is here?" She asked with raised brows.
"It's a record shop," I explained, the car door slamming behind me. The cold October air whipped around me, causing me to cradle my arms to my chest.
"A record shop?" She questioned. I nodded, already knowing what she would say before she said it. "It looks abandoned."
"That's the beauty of it," I laughed.
The smell of the records hit me almost instantly, taking me back to that very first time with Harry. I had wanted to come back so many times since then, but I didn't want to go alone and I didn't have the guts to ask Harry.
Sure, we were friends now. We were back to being great friends like before. He was... different now, though. He never snapped, he had limited his insults, and he didn't seem so on edge all the time. I could joke around with him without fearing he would never talk to me again.
However, I didn't know if he'd be willing to hang out with me outside of work, even if it was to drive forty five minutes away to some silly little record store that had some sort of significance for the both of us. For Harry, it was a safe place. For me, it was a huge milestone in becoming his friend.
"I have never seen so many records in my life," Amelia cooed beside me. She darted straight to the actual vintage vinyls that were kept neatly alphabetized in the bins on the back shelf. I laughed, making my way towards the counter.
"Excuse me, sir," I called to the man behind the counter. He was the same man from before. He still looked rough and rugged clad in a muscle tank and a grey ponytail. All I got was a sort of grunt to show that he acknowledged my presence. He didn't even bother to turn around. "Would you happen to have the newest All Time Low album in stock?"
He grunted again before stomping out from behind the counter and to the first bin. He flipped through for a moment, sighing when he finally found what he was looking for.
"Am I ringing this up or putting it on hold?" He questioned as he made his way back behind the counter. He seemed grumpy for some reason.
"Ring it up, please," I told him, fishing around in my bag for my wallet. Amelia had resumed her place right beside me, staring in awe at the many band posters plastered on the walls behind the owner's head.
A rush of panic went through me when I realized my wallet wasn't in my bag. "On second thought, just put it in hold. I'll be back to get it as soon as I get my wallet." There were only two places it could possibly be: in my car or at the station.
"I got it," Amelia offered with a smile. "You paid for lunch the other day, it's the least I can do."
Despite my objections, Amelia ended up paying for the CD. I didn't want her to. I was never good at accepting gifts from people. I was just plain awkward in that situation and never knew how to say thank you.
"Don't think of it as a gift," she explained. "Think of it as me paying you back for lunch." Little did she know, I would pay her back the moment my wallet was in my hands again.
The man behind the counter stared me down as he handed over my record. I wanted to ask him what the hell his problem was.
"You came in here with Harry," he said simply, connecting a face with a memory.
I nodded. "I did. He actually gave me every single CD he bought. He wouldn't take no for an answer."
The man laughed quietly. "Harry Styles is relentless when he wants something."
Amelia sucked in a loud breath next to me, her blue eyes widened in... Shock?
"What's the matter?" I asked, gripping her arm to make sure she was alright.
"Harry Styles?" She wondered, staring blankly at the wall behind me. "The total bad ass that everyone at our school constantly talks about?"
It was true, Harry had become a perfect example of what everyone at our school wanted to be or idolized or even swooned over. Every guy wanted to have his attitude and every girl wanted to sleep with him. Even though he had graduated the year before, his name still echoed through the hallways. Everyone seemed to want to mimic his 'I don't give a shit' attitude. With his reputation, I was surprised I had never heard his name before this year. His name tumbled from people's lips almost as often as Louis' did, and Louis was an absolute legend at our school.
"The one and only," I answered, grabbing her by the arm and leading her towards the door. I shouted a quick thank you over my shoulder before dragging her out completely. She stomped behind me and I could feel her eyes like daggers.
I hadn't told Amelia anything about Harry and I. It didn't matter anymore. I was with Louis now and I really liked him, he was great. Harry and I were friends and what happened between us didn't matter now. It never mattered at all. I could practically feel the questions swirling around in her head as we settled into my car.
"We have to go to the station and get my wallet and then we can-"
"Why were you hanging out with Harry Styles and more importantly how do you even know him ?" She questioned, her eyes filling up with hope that what I was telling her would be good.
I shrugged my shoulders. "He works at the station with me. He bought me a few records. Just stuff he listens to that he wanted me to listen to as well."
She looked unsatisfied, like the story i was telling her wasn't good enough for her. "You guys are friends?"
"More or less," I replied. "Harry Styles is a very difficult person to get along with."