In case you were wondering, I didn't always like men. In fact, for quite a while being gay wasn't even something that would have crossed my mind. I may have been quite open with both genders growing up, but I enjoyed women way too much for the possibility of not being straight to haunt me.
Stan says he's always known. I glance over at his prone body in the seats diagonal to mine. He says that it was apparent since we met, and he always found it funny when I've had girlfriends. Like right now. I push the thought out of my head. He's the only person I've ever told, afraid that with anyone less trustworthy, it'll get back around somehow.
Still, I find it hard to wrap my mind around the word "gay". I mean, it's not that I'm attracted to men so much as that I'm attracted to a certain curly haired, green-eyed man. I find myself staring in his direction as I think this over for the fourteenth time since we boarded this plane to San Diego. I can never sleep on planes, which is something that the boy who has screwed up my sexuality has no problem with.
He sits in the seat next to me, his head resting on the sheep neck pillow I had jokingly bought him at the Mexican airport this morning. He faces me, but his eyes are peacefully closed. I find myself amused at my own disappointment at not getting to look into those green eyes, but really, I shouldn't be surprised anymore. His eyelids twitch as he dreams, and I can't help but softly caress the curls that are falling onto my shoulder when he frowns. His face calms as I gently stroke his head like an animal, grinning at my own joke since nobody else is awake to appreciate it. When he subconsciously snuggles in closer to me, resting against my shoulder, I'm filled with a dangerous sense of hope and the ever-present longing.
The longing is obvious, because I've accepted the fact that I'm in love with Harry Styles, gay or not. But the hope is something that blossoms every time I over read one of Harry's "friendly" gestures, and the disappointment that follows is often crushing. I try to force thoughts of the undeniably pretty and kind Eleanor Calder into my head, but I haven't truly had feelings for her in ages and that only makes me feel guilty. I don't know what to do about her. She's a fun girl and all, and I do truly like her. I feel as if it's become more platonic than anything. At first, I was positive that I did have feelings for her. Now, though, I'm wondering if a slight interest made me jump too quick. I just wanted to find aay to stop pining for my band mate! I sigh, leaning my head back against my own seat and bringing the arm that isn't going numb under Harry's torso up to cover my eyes as I fret dramatically.
"Can't sleep, Lou?" The sleepy murmur comes from the crook of my neck, where a now awake Harry has moved his face. He nips at the skin there playfully, sending shivers through my body.
"No, but that's nothing unusual." I respond with a one shouldered shrug. Harry stretches his long legs in front of him, kicking off his trainers in the process, while also bumping a comatose Niall's seat. Then he lifts the center armrest as he sits up, coaxing me down to lie in his lap.
"I'm sorry I can't seem to stay awake with you." He says softly, stroking my hair. I smile as I remember my similar gesture from mere minutes ago. I tilt my head back to look at him, taking in his shameful expression. I pat his cheek, trying to wipe it right off his stunning face.
"Don't worry Harry, it's not a big deal." I tell him as my hand slides down to rest on the side of his chin. I so wish that I could pull down his head right now and plant one on him, but my common sense kicks in as I realize the irrationality of that desire. His eyes droop a little in drowsiness, and he struggles to still appear fully awake as I watch with a small laugh. "Go back to sleep silly, I'll be fine," I say as I move to get up.
"Stay!" He lazily admonishes me, pulling my hand back up to his chest and hugging it there, preventing me from the getting the leverage to go anywhere. My hand is positioned so that I can feel his heartbeat, which is steadily thumping, unlike my own, which races every time he touches me. Cheesy as hell, but still a fact.
"Try to sleep with me," Harry instructs, using his free hand to close my eyelids forcibly, poking one in the process. I shift into a comfortable position, stretching my legs into the vacant seat next to my own and settling my back on his bony thighs. My eyes still being held shut by Harry, I move my now released hand back up to grab one of his, purely for comfort, and rest it on my own chest. He relaxes, releasing my eyes as he leans down to kiss my forehead. I'm hit again with that feeling of extreme adoration and pessimistic hope when he leans back, but I'm comfortable enough that I don't mull over them as usual. Harry's working his magic, leaving me with fluttering eyes and foggy thoughts. I pull a deep breath as I feel myself fully relax.
"Love you, Lou." Harry whispers comfortingly, the last things I hear before I fall asleep.
So the media has finally gotten wind on the state of Larry Stylinson, I notice as I scroll through Twitter on my phone while brushing my teeth. I'm surprised that they had taken as long as they did, it's not like we've been particularly secretive. We've been together for only a few weeks now, but we're as solid as a long-time married couple. The thought makes me smile.
"What are you grinning about?" Louis asks, pinching my cheeks as he comes up next to me at the puny hotel bathroom sink. I beam at my boyfriend in the mirror, giving him a wink.
"Just you." I say, leaning down to peck his forehead, leaving foamy toothpaste residue that Louis wipes off with a laugh. Spitting out the last of my toothpaste, as Louis reaches for his own toothbrush, we hear the knock on the hotel door. I squeeze Louis bum, laughing at the suggestive noise that he makes, as I head for the door. I open it up with a grin, running my hand through my hair.
It's the boys, as I expected, but they're expressions are not predictable. They look angry almost, and my eyes catch the newspaper that they're holding. Harry and Louis Caught: Proof of Larry Stylinson headlines the paper, accompanied by one of their heated kisses from the night before following a concert. They had not seen those cameras at the time. Yet again, they hadn't been noticing much of anything in that particular moment. I smile in spite of myself, despite the tension of the other boys. We hadn't told them yet, waiting for the ideal moment. Sure that they were upset for the circumstances of their englightenment, I open my mouth in an attempt to apologize.
"You guys are gay?" says Liam. His tone freezes me in place, it's totally uncharacteristic. The rest of the boys hold the same cold attitude.
"Dirty homos," I hear Zayn mutter.
"Fags," whispers Niall. I'm so shocked I can't move. Sure, Lou and I had anticipated a certain section of their "fans" to throw insults at them. But they had never imagined a scenario where the rest of the band didn't support them. I feel the anxiety swarming and the awful dread creeping through my body.
Just as I'm on the verge of screaming or crying, the scene falls away into serenity as I feel those familiar fingers running through my hair. I instinctually gravitate towards the source, my mind filling with peaceful images of the boy I love so much. Past the shaky feelings of the nightmare, I start to calm myself as I recognize myself waking up. I stay as I am for a while, in what I remember to be a plane seat, tucked up close to a warm body that I know every inch of.
Foolishly afraid that moving will wake the heaviest sleeper I know, I sit and ponder the nightmare. I'd been having it for weeks now, different scenarios but always ending in angry fans, angry management, angry family members and now angry bandmates. In my waking life, the effects of coming out were never on my mind. I was only focused on Louis' reaction. Apparently my subconscious had other nervous thoughts though. The dream had been disturbing, but I couldn't find it in me to have such ugly thoughts while snuggled up so close to Louis. It was actually hard to think of anything but happy, loving thoughts, actually. I tried to shove these feelings down, remembering every single moment of stabbing disappointment I felt when I had a moment like this, only to be countered by a mention of Eleanor.
The living proof of why my dream would never come true was a constant smack in the face. Although she was a lovely girl, I could not find it in myself to truly enjoy her. Being in love with her boyfriend did not really make the situation pleasant.
I felt Louis moving beneath me, and open my eyes blearily to find him with his hand over his face, looking distraught. Trying to get the expression off his face, I nuzzle my face into his neck.
"Can't sleep, Lou?" I whisper into his neck. I'm temporarily overwhelmed by the smell of him, kissing at his neck in a moment of insanity. He doesn't act out of the normal, so I figure I've gotten away with it.
"No," he answers quietly, "But that's nothing unusual." I frown at that, overcome with the wave of guilt I always feel when I leave Louis awake on planes alone. He can never seem to get any shut-eye when we're above sea level. I sit up, slowly stretching my cramped muscles. I accidentally bump the seat in front of me, but it's just Niall and he's completely out so it doesn't matter. Lifting the armrest that separates us, I guide Louis to lie down in my lap in attempt to make the uncomfortable plane seats more bearable.
"I'm sorry I can't seem to stay awake with you," I murmur to the back of his head. I can't help but run my fingers through that incredibly soft hair. He turns his head to look at me, and I get momentarily lost in his bright blue eyes. He stares up through those incredibly long lashes, reaching up to pat my cheek.
"Don't worry Harry, it's not a big deal," he says simply, moving his hand to rest against my chin. I lean into it, momentarily overwhelmed by the proximity to Louis. This is not good, since he's resting on my lap right now. I take a second to cool off, forcing myself to keep the blood flowing in the right direction. Louis gives a small laugh and my eyes flash back to his face, startled that he has read my thoughts.
"Go back to sleep, silly," he says, to my instant relief. "I'll be fine." He moves to get back up, but I don't want him to leave. So, like the five year old I'm reduced to with him around, I pull him back down into my lap.
"Stay!" I say, grabbing his hand and hugging it close so that he can't get away. When he stops trying to get away, I release his hand and accidently poke him in the eye in a cheeky attempt to close them, but he recovers after some blinking and moaning. I keep my fingers over his eyelids though. "Try to sleep with me."
He sighs, relaxing pushing his legs onto the neighboring seats. He grabs at my hand not on his face, and pulls it down to hug against his own chest. I release his eyes then, and they thankfully stay peacefully closed. I'm hit with another wave of emotion at the trusting expression on his face. It's pure adoration, and I allow myself to lean down and kiss his forehead. He sighs, with a slight smile, and I sense his exhaustion taking over. One of my hands still entwined with his, I lean back against the seat with a smile of my own, just enjoying the rush of positive feelings. Once I'm sure he's asleep, I tell him what I'm not sure I'll ever get the guts to say while he's conscious.
"I love you, Lou."