Chapter 1

386 32 161
                                                  


Kentwood was a college town, through and through. The town sat nestled in a large flat field, open skies and green pastures visible for miles. Off in the distance, on a clear, bright day, you could see the green rolling hills of the next town over. And just behind the highway exit, there was a thick forest with a sparkling lake.

The town had two stoplights, covering the only intersection in town. At night, the lights' buzz hummed in your ear as they flickered between green and yellow and red, competing with the moon to illuminate the paths of those rebellious enough to find something to do in this town of nothing.

The reason Kentwood is referred to as a college town is because the only thing you can really find in Kentwood is the university. All of the restaurants, stores, and cafes are in a strip right in front of the college, the interests of those businesses geared towards the hipster ideals of the Instagram, Snapchat obsessed students attending the private university.

So it wasn't very surprising that right next to the best coffee shop on campus, Kent's Hideout, there was a vintage record store named Rough Patch. The owner, Mitch, graduated from Kentwood University himself twelve years ago and used to sell bootleg dvds and records out of his old blue Volkswagen. Until his girlfriend told him to do something with his life or she would be out of it.

Mitch bought that particular storefront because he thought the store itself was also going through a bit of a rough patch. The paint peeled from the wall, exposing a green colored brick that probably didn't start off that color and there was a hole in the floor that Mitch covered up by building a large platform to fit into the corner.

But the prices at Rough Patch were fair, Mitch carried every single kind of album you could think of, from Kendrick Lamar to Dolly Parton. And if you caught him on a good day, he might even let you trade in anything for a discount. Like once, he accepted a faded Robocop t-shirt for $5 off a Nat King Cole record.

Crates and crates and crates filled the walls and shelves and floors and tables, some crates in better shape than others. It was pretty difficult to navigate. So, when Harry Styles found himself in Rough Patch, large faded leather boots slapping against the nicked hardwood floor, it shouldn't come as a shock that he tripped over something. His uncoordinated feet betraying him once again, causing him to fall forward and whack his head right on the corner of a splintered wooden crate.

"Oh, fuck," called out someone. Harry, in all the daze and ringing in his ears, was able to make out the loud, musical voice as embarrassment ran through his veins, causing a bright red blush to creep up on his cheeks. He tried to stand, determined to somehow make a break for it without tripping again or encountering the person who the voice belonged to.

But the tall boy stood too fast and black spots danced in his vision, threatening to pull him under. And just when he was about to topple over again, small hands darted out, one hand firmly grabbing his bicep and the other in the middle of Harry's torso, right over where his butterfly tattoo was hidden away. That hand pushed against the gravity that was urging Harry to the ground.

Harry wished silently that the hand would disappear so that he could be swallowed up by the ground into this pit of embarrassment he created for himself. "Shit, are you okay?" The hands, with their sweaty palms, were steadier than the voice they belonged to. Concern poured out of this stranger's mouth and he held firmly onto Harry.

And unfortunately, Harry's eyes did him no favors he tried to see the face that the hands belonged to. But this man, well to Harry, he had two noses and two mouths and four eyes. "I'm okay, just a little dizzy," Harry tried to say. But it came out more as slurred garbage.

Songs For How You Taste | l.s.Where stories live. Discover now