Chapter 45

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"I know what you said, I just have things to take care of here before-"

Matt Helders held up a hand and immediately stopped Alex from speaking, the usually free spirited and easy going man was in no mood to hear another list of excuses for why his bandmate wanted to continue to procrastinate about leaving.

"We have a deadline for this album Alex." It was a strange thing to see Matt behaving in an authoritative way an talking of responsibilities and duty, but he had decided to wear his leadership hat in the wake of Alex's seeming inability to get himself together enough so that the band could go and record; he seemed apprehensive about Los Angeles. Matt wasn't interested in why."We were meant to be in LA a week ago."

"I know but-"

"But what? You haven't been able to tear yourself away from the bunny across the hall? There are groupies in LA Al, so you won't be missing her for long if you miss her at all."

At these words he lifted his head from its state of hanging in shame and narrowed his eyes upon Matt, who in turn looked thoroughly unintimidated by the deep scowl on Alex's face.

"I'm not getting into this with you; just leave her out of it."

He sighed and rested against the back of his couch, trying to know why it was so hard to go. Nothing was holding him to this place; his family were already miles away, and they'd already come to terms with saying goodbye to him for long periods of time in order for him to chase his dream. And this was his dream, finally within reach, all he needed to do was move for it; all he had to do now was go. An album with the backing of a label and exposure in the US, nothing that had happened in the past year would have led him to expect that an opportunity like this was on the horizon.

And without her it wouldn't have been. He knew that and he couldn't shake his feelings; of gratitude, of admiration, of affection. He was dwelling on them and getting lost in all the reasons and metaphors of why he felt the way he felt when Matt spoke again and pulled him back to reality.

"You're a sensitive soul Al; it's why you can come up with all your pretty words. But there's a time and a place for such sentimentality, specifically in the recording studio the label has booked for us in LA. We'll be gone three months tops, no doubt we'll be able to fly back for Chrimbo, so put your dagger away and tell Juliet you'll see her in a few weeks and come back to her a rich man." He shut his eyes more tightly, attempting to drown out the sanity of Matt's reasoning for at the moment he preferred the conflict in his mind; should he stay or go, should he finally reveal what he believed he had begun to feel or wait for some other more opportune and safer time; a time that might never come. "Or stay here and be replaced; you can write like a poet and sing with more soul than a Sheffield lad has a right to, but where we're going we can find someone to do a second rate version of what you do without all this melodrama. This is your dream more than any of ours. Don't get left behind; I'll come back around at midnight to see if you're ready, the plane leaves at two."

He left without another word and Alex did not bother opening his eyes to watch him go, but rather continued to sit and consider his options. He realized that he had to go, but the manner in which he would leave things with her was still up in the air.

He felt foolish and cowardly, deeply immature, and this did nothing to soothe his conflicted mind; still in all he found himself crossing to the door of his apartment, intent on going across the hall and knocking on hers. The sight of another man already there and knocking sent him reeling a bit. The sight of the very same man sighing after Robyn failed to answer and reaching up over the door frame to remove a spare key stunned him even further. Upon second thought Alex assumed that it must be his key, for Robyn was far too trusting but not nearly careless enough to leave a key lying around in such an obvious place for anyone to find.

H. A Harry Styles A.U.Where stories live. Discover now