12 - Numbers and nostalgia

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"All my favourite conversations, always made in the A.M."


The illuminated numbers are the sort of lime green that's far too garish for the eyes so early in the morning, but I'm more disappointed that it's only been ten minutes since I last checked the time.

I can hear Harry breathing heavily from the sofa in the corner of the room, the same way he's been since the moment he closed his eyes, and I envy his ability to become comatose so quickly. My brain just won't shut off and I'm pretty sure I haven't slept a wink yet. I think that perhaps it's because I'm scared I'll wake up and find out that this was all a dream - that I never flew to Sydney with Harry Styles, that we never decided to be friends again. And I'm not sure I want to go back to being that Juniper; the girl with the grudge.

Sometimes I feel like my life has been defined by two eras - life with Harry and life without him. Everything I've ever done seems to fall into one of those two categories. Before he disappeared on me, I almost couldn't remember not having him as my friend, and now it feels awfully surreal having him back.

So much so that I haven't got a clue how I'm supposed to act around him when the day begins in a few hours time.

Are we still going to have mutual interests?

Am I still going to be able to make him laugh?

What if he wakes up and decides he doesn't want to be my friend after all?

The air conditioning unit kicked in again at some point in the last few hours and our ridiculously lavish room is freezing. I really don't want to go fumbling around for the controls in the dark, nor do I want to switch the light on for fear of waking up Harry, so I've managed to curl myself up into the smallest ball possible beneath the doona. But quite honestly, it's not made the slightest bit of a difference.

Clearly I am not destined to sleep any time soon.

I roll over and reach blindly for my phone on the bedside table. It's highly unlikely that she'll be awake, but I really should text Eve and assure her that all is well following our slightly frantic phone call. She probably suspects that I've completely lost the plot, not that I would blame her if she did - after all, it's not everyday that you receive a call from your best friend claiming to be sharing a hotel room with a celebrity. My fingertips bump against the silicone case and before there's anything that I can do about it, my phone tumbles onto the carpeted floor with an amplified thump, immediately undoing all my efforts to remain silent.


My pulse is pounding so loudly in my ears that I can't even hear the AC anymore, nor can I determine whether Harry is still sound asleep. I don't know whether I should even bother locating my phone, I suspect I'll only make more noise rustling the doona cover and scrabbling about on the carpet and-


I puff my cheeks out and scrunch my face up. I really had been right earlier when I'd suspected that being in Harry's presence was turning me into a klutz. I can't even seem to knock my phone on the floor without creating a drama.

"Juni - did you fall out of bed?"

Clearly Harry thinks I'm klutz too.

"No." I whisper into the darkness. Rustling sounds from the corner of the room and I can just about make out a figure sitting upright. "I knocked my phone onto the floor. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to wake you up."

He releases an amused sounding huff and I shake my head, mortified by my actions. "What time is it?"

His voice is thick with sleep and much deeper than during daytime hours. He sounds like a sleep-deprived teenager and yet a much older, mature adult all at once. I watch in the dark as he raises his arms above his head, presumably stretching.

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