I walked into the Thursday morning, second period music class and glanced around for a second before spotting my friends sitting in the far corner of the room. Harry caught my eye and beckoned me over with a small smile. After being funny with me all afternoon about my lunch with Alex, I was glad that he seemed to be over it this morning. As I made my way through the maze of chairs and people, I wondered why there was such a buzz in the air. My question was answered as soon as I took my seat in between Harry and Eleanor.
"Oh my god, S! Mr. Ford just came in and said that we're doing a showcase of one of our duet or group songs today!" El said with a wide grin as she turned to me excitedly. I felt a small burst of adrenaline like I always did at the thought of performing and felt a grin spread across my own face to match hers.
"Oh cool!" I giggled as she clapped her hands excitedly, "What one are you thinking we should do?" She immediately leant down to her bag to pull out our sheet music to shuffle through and pick a song. I laughed as she went through them with a visible eagerness. While she was choosing I turned to Harry who was laughing at something that had been said by one of the lads on the other side of the table. He smiled brightly when he saw me looking at him, "You guys picked a song yet?" I asked, returning the smile.
"Yeah." He said, his eyes sparkled mischievously as he tapped the sheet music in front of him. I smiled and reached for it, but he slid it out of my reach. I looked at him questioningly, and his smile only widened, "You'll hear it in a minute." He winked at me and I rolled my eyes. I was about to protest when Mr Ford came into the room.
"Okay ladies, gents and animals… yes, Mr Horan, Mr Payne, I am referring to you two when I say that... performances!" He said as he marched to the front of the class carrying his laptop and a coffee. His tie was askew and considering it was only quarter past ten, he was looking very frazzled, "Now, who wants to go first? Anyone? Ah! Thank you, Mr. Sheeran!" I looked to my left to see Ed and Taylor stand up and walk to the front of the class. It had been so long since I had spoken to her, now whenever I saw her it seemed really strange. "Before you start, remember to introduce the song and why you picked it."
As they sorted out their papers out at the piano, I couldn't help but notice how awkwardly Ed was looking over at our table.
"Is he looking at me repeatedly? Or is that just me imagining things?" Harry's voice whispered behind me. I looked at him and realised he was right, Ed wasn't looking at our table, but rather Harry specifically. Taylor got her papers sorted on the stand and then looked up and her eyes also locked onto Harry, with a much more vengeful look in them though, "Please tell me she is not as crazy as I think she's about to be..." His eyes were wide as it dawned on him what was going through her mind.
"Hi, so Ed and I are going to be singing a song I wrote a few weeks ago... It's about ignoring the warning signs when you like someone who then goes on to treat you like crap and fall in love with your best friend." She had been glaring at Harry and I the entire time.
"She is most definitely about to be crazy, mate." Niall snickered in response. While she was speaking Harry's eyebrows had shot up, all playfulness gone from his mouth that was now in an 'o' shape. I had felt myself shrinking into my chair as my hand had risen to my face to shield myself from everyone else's eyes.
"Once upon a time, a few mistakes ago, I was in your sight and you got me alone…” I could see that even Ed was cringing behind her as she started singing, keeping her eyes locked on Harry the entire time.
"What the hell is she thinking? What the actual fuck? We were together for less than three weeks... I think it was like sixteen days, she was a rebound!" Harry hissed in horror at the car crash happening before his eyes. Taylor and Ed's voices were beautiful, but by now no-one was paying any attention to anything but the lyrics and Harry's now bright red face. I felt embarrassed for him, she was being the nutcase that I had talked her out of being for the last few years.
It was strange, after Taylor and Harry had gotten together, we had started drifting apart very quickly and now that I was listening to her spill her feelings… I hadn’t even realised at the time.
“… And he’s long gone when he’s next to me, and I realise the blame is on me…” I realised what she was referring to when she said this and I felt sick. She had always thought that Harry had a thing for me… something that more and more people seemed to be thinking these days. That wouldn’t ever happen though, how could it. I was stupid to have liked Harry when we had first met, besides its not like I was an expert at hiding it, so there was no way that he didn’t know, and if he had liked me he would have said something. So, by the power of deduction, I had declared Taylor and everyone else who thought otherwise, absolutely mental.
“No apologies, he’ll never see you cry, pretend he doesn’t know that he’s the reason why…” I watched as Harry’s face went through a plethora of emotions, “I heard you’ve moved on from whispers on the street, a new notch in your belt is all I’ll ever be…” He closed his eyes and looked at the ground at this line, like it physically hurt him. But why? Harry was still single and he hadn’t actually physically moved on with anyone, so if it wasn’t true why would he look like he was physically sick?
"... And the saddest fear, comes creeping in... You never loved me, or her, or anyone, or anything..."
Harry's fist tightened at this. He was so not happy with any of the things that she had written about him and I could see that this line in particular had touched a nerve. She was perpetuating what everyone already thought about him, that he was a typical rugby lad and nothing more than a player. What a load of shit. I found myself getting angry for him knowing that none of it was true. Harry was one of the most caring people I had ever met in my life and he hadn’t done anything wrong.
Eventually the song came to an end and everyone just sat in silence for a few seconds too long. Ed's face was almost as red as his hair when the sporadic clapping that had to be encouraged by Mr. Ford started.
"Ed, Taylor, that was great, come on guys, give them a round of applause! Takes a lot of courage to go first!" he said, and smiled at Ed and Taylor who were now gathering up their stuff to go back to their seats. "Okay, who's next?"
“Eleanor, Selena? Fancy going next?” Mr Ford said after a few other people had gone up to the front to perform. Eleanor nodded eagerly and jumped up, giving me no choice but to follow.
I got to the front of the room and Eleanor handed me my a guitar while she organised herself at the piano. I smiled. I was glad she’d picked this one, it was something that we had worked hard on the arrangement for. Turning to the rest of the room, I saw that all eyes were on me, expecting me to introduce the song.
“Ok, so this song is called Teenage Dream, we wrote this collaboratively… I guess it’s about how your first teenage love makes you feel… pretty self explanatory really…” I said as the nerves began rising in me. I began plucking the first few notes of the song as I looked out at the room of people and felt myself start to feel claustrophobic. Not one pair of eyes looked back at me encouragingly, they were all so judging. Until I met a pair of green ones at the back of the room, shining back at me.
“You think I’m pretty without any make up on, you think I’m funny when I tell the punchline wrong…” I started singing and all my fears slowly melted away as I kept my eyes on Harry. He was watching us intently, a small smile dancing on his lips as we sang and I found myself thinking in the back of my mind how lucky I was to have a best friend who was so encouraging.
Okay, so I know this was a long time coming, but this chapter was really hard to write because I didn't know how to go about it. So yeah, expect more later because this has been a really hard bit for me to write accurately.
I Knew You Were Trouble - This is the version that I think Taylor would have sang in the class - I know it's not her singing, but its such a beautiful version that I wanted you all to hear it.
Thanks for reading - leave me a comment and let me know what you think.