The Harry Styles Diaries: Fountain Of Wishes
Chapter 1: Night Changes
I flinched at first when the tattoo needle touched my body, but only at first. It was my first tattoo, and if it were up to my parents, my only tattoo. They had no idea I was even getting this one, and I intended to keep it that way. Getting the word “TRUST” inked vertically down the back of my neck was my idea, getting a tattoo in general was my brother Derrick's. He sat a few feet away from me, in his baggy jeans and backwards hat holding a can of Red Bull, and taking amusement in my discomfort. He always had a Red Bull, it was his drug, like music was mine.
The artist finished inking the last “T” in TRUST and wiped my neck clean.
“You're all set,” he said.
My brother took out a wad of cash to pay for my birthday present. If you don't think loose currency and a tattoo parlor is much of a birthday present, you've never had an older brother before. To him, this was his idea of expressing care for me, and to be honest I was grateful he even cared at all. Derrick was 24, and I just turned 19. He thought I needed to do something bold in my life, so he urged me incessantly to get a tattoo. I'd like to think it was bold of me to go through with it, but truth be told I knew 99 percent of the time my shoulder length hair would cover the ink anyway, so it made me feel a little less rebellious than he had hoped for me.
My name is Katin Leery, not Katie or Kathy. Katin. If you ever got it wrong, you wouldn't be the first, and certainly not the last. I thought turning 18 last year would be my real start as a woman after graduation, but so much has happened since then I feel as if I have grown up 10 times more than anticipated. I was engaged last year, “was” being the key word there. Before you judge me for being too young to get married, I knew this myself. My fiance's name was Errol Prescott, and his unusual, larger than life name fit his stature of a Greek god. He was a fitness machine, with muscles bigger than both my arms combined, and older than me, 7 years older in fact. He came from a rich family, one of the richest I've certainly ever known, with a family business to take over someday and a bright future with or without me in it.
I was young and in love with Errol, but that isn't an excuse. I never truly knew why he was so invested in me from the start, but I suppose that doesn't matter now. He loved my eyes, piercing and secretive, even though I don't have that many secrets to speak of. I am opinionated, but not overly so, and don't rock the boat or get too loud. I imagine these qualities helped balance out his hectic life, but Errol would never admit it if true. This all happened in Colorado, where I no longer reside. Denver was home for me all the way through high school, but being just a few steps from walking down the aisle with an older man at 18 years old caused a rift between my parents and I, and that is putting it mildly. Even though Errol was nothing but successful, my mom and dad thought I was acting on impulse and not thought. The irony is after my engagement ended they had never been nicer, but in a weird way I felt even less independent. Parents can be extremely suffocating, even if they put all their effort in trying not to be. After being done with school and having a failed relationship, I was ready to move on from the cold Colorado winters and find a fresh start. That is where Derrick came in.
Derrick and I left the tattoo parlor and I zipped up my One Direction hoodie to battle the chilly Pacific Ocean air. I was living in San Diego, California now with my brother, where he was going back to school to follow his dream as an artist. I had only been here a month, so the adjustment period for me was still taking place.
“You're going to wear that thing out having it on so much,” he said, gesturing to my hoodie sarcastically.
I gave a half smile and rolled down the window in his car. He hated my obsession with One Direction, in fact he didn't have much interest in a lot of things I put my time into: reality tv, jogging, writing in my diary. It didn't bother me he felt this way about my passions, as I had little investment in his as well. The relationship with my brother has always been a complicated one, but there is a mutual respect there.
Derrick shuffled to some metal band I couldn't even understand the lyrics to on his ipod, and we headed down the California coast. I put my hand out the car window, feeling the air touch my fingertips and taking in the scent of the sweet and intoxicating ocean smell. It didn't just smell like the Pacific however, but one of a brand new chapter in my life, one I had hoped would be better than the previous.
Derrick's 2 bedroom apartment was what you'd expect from a boy. Unkempt, unorganized, and uninspired in its decorating. I didn't have much to complain about however, for he could have easily said no to me moving in with him after his roommate left to live with his girlfriend. Derrick's ideas of home décor were pizza boxes, liquor bottles and video game systems. The whole apartment always smelled like a party had just taken place there, even when one hadn't. His friends came and went as they pleased, having laughs, beers and unfiltered conversations about whatever crossed their minds. As for his girlfriend situation, I had pretty much given up trying to get to know them by that point. Derrick is the kind of guy who can easily get plenty of girls, but seemingly got bored of them within a week's time. Having lived with him for just over a month, I had already seen 4 different women at the apartment. His latest girlfriend was Sasha, a pretty blonde with a statuesque body. The only reason I even knew her name was because she had been over more frequently than his previous ones.
Derrick threw his keys on the kitchen counter and started sorting through the mail as I went into my bedroom and closed the door. In an apartment that was extremely dominated by male influence, my bed and bathroom were definitely my sanctuary.
I lit some incense and threw a pillow on the floor, that I laid down upon on my chest as I put on my Bose headphones. I scrolled through the “Happy Birthday” text messages on my phone, and started listening to One Direction's “Night Changes” as I pulled out my diary. This was an evening ritual for me; listening to music, writing down my thoughts, getting lost in my own world even if it was one I was creating for myself. There is something visceral about combining music and creativity, and even though I didn't fancy myself as the best writer in the world, I was definitely an honest one. I put the hood up on my hoodie, as if placing it over my headphones would allow me to get lost in the music more. Out of the corner of my eye I saw an envelope slide underneath my bedroom door, today's mail for me no doubt. That is how Derrick delivered my mail, as if knowing I was busy with my own thoughts.
I put my headphones around my neck and winced at the subtle pain it caused when they rubbed against my fresh tattoo. I tore open the envelope and out fell a folded piece of paper wrapped around something inside it. The paper said “OTRAT Qualcomm, July 8. Happy Birthday.” I looked at the return address on the envelope and noticed it was from the United Kingdom. There was only one person in the world I knew that lived in England, and it most definitely was not anyone from One Direction.