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Ever Since New York [H.S]

Summary

Harry is an established pub musician and busker from Holmes Chapel, Cheshire. Working in pubs you meet some interesting people, and hear some pretty wild stories, but otherwise are quite a fly on the wall; a people watcher, mostly. Mostly. That all changes when Harry finds himself involved in one particular couple's wild story a little too much. A.N// The story cover was created by a good friend of mine, UnderTheCurtain , all credit goes to her.

Genre:
Romance / Drama
Author:
GirlAlmighty-xx
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
31
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
18+

Sign Of The Times

I could feel the beat of my heart quickening in my chest as the knocking sound came from 3 metres away right outside the front door. Knowing that someone could actually be out at this time was frightening. Why would anyone be at my doorstep at 1:30am? It wasn't Patrick. I knew that for a fact. My last text from Patrick came in at 12:51am stating that he was hungover and tired. He was always like this. I'd receive a message from him saying that he's been drinking and that he was tired, and right after he always fell asleep. I don't even know how he made it home safely in his drunken state, but apparently he did. A million thoughts played over my mind, but it was this one that really got to me.

Only one person would be on my doorstep at this time of night. The police. Answering the door to hear those horrible words that Patrick hadn't made it was something that I feared more than anything. But I had to. I had to force myself to push the pause button on the TV remote, freezing 'Clueless', which had been playing just recently. It took me a few moments to regain myself as I stumbled off the black leather sofa I had spent my night laying on. My legs felt like jelly with each step towards the door. As I took my lower lip between my teeth, I reached out with one hand to grab a hold of the handle. I was dreading the heartbreaking news more than anything, but knew that it was now or never; I couldn't keep them out in the cold all night. Closing my eyes as I slowly pulled open the door, the cold air to brush up against me, and I was suddenly more thankful for the thick pyjamas I had on. I waited for the police officer's voice, but it never came. Why didn't it come? My eyes slowly opening, I blinked quickly a couple of times to ensure that what I was seeing was real. I could have sworn the police were the culprit behind the knock at the door, but they weren't. I can't even tell you how happy I was to know that the police weren't standing there when I pulled open the door. I felt my heartbeat slowly return back to normal as I let out a soft sigh of relief. In this moment I was happy. I was so utterly happy. In a month's time I would be marrying Patrick; everything was good.

I felt calmer knowing that no one was at the door and that my mind was simply playing tricks on me, so I stepped back and was about to slam the door shut, until my big brown eyes landed on the small envelope. In effortless black writing was the word; "Ivyanna." What was this and why was it here? Nobody ever calls me that. I bent down to pick up the envelope before I let the door shut behind me.

I leant back against the wall and turned the envelope over in my hand, anxious to know what was inside. The envelope contained a single small piece of paper that had been folded over several times. Should I be reading this? Was this even mine to read? Why hadn't I thrown it out already? About a million and one questions roamed my mind. Why was I even worrying? It was so silly anyway. Nothing important. I used the pads of my thumbs to force open the folded bits, glancing my eyes down at the words to read over what was written in messy handwriting: "DON'T MARRY HIM!"

I don't know how long I spent out on the porch, but by the time I came back to reality, my hands and face had gone numb from the cold, and my mind had gone blank. As I let myself back inside, I noticed that the handwriting on the envelope was different to that on the note, and neither style was one I recognised. This made me uncomfortable, because it meant that the note wasn't left by anyone I knew. I have no family, and Patrick only has his mother. Neither of us had many friends, either. I looked back at the envelope, and my stomach lurched as I ran my thumb over the delicate script. Ivyanna. Nobody had called me that in almost two decades. Not one person in my life at this point knew my name wasn't just 'Ivy', as I introduced myself; not even Patrick. It's not a common name, either, so it's not as if this was left here for someone else by mistake. Whoever left this for me is a complete stranger who knows where I live, and somehow they know about the wedding and a part of my life I'd tried very hard up to now to erase any evidence of.

I was suddenly overcome with an intense feeling that I was being watched. My mouth dried, my breathing quickened again, and the air in the living room was almost electrified. I stumbled into the kitchen and poured a glass of water. When I'd composed myself enough, I made a cup of tea and glanced at the clock. 2:15am. None of this made any sense. I wondered if I should actually call the police, and then decided against it. So what do I do? I couldn't go anywhere – no one I knew was awake, and even if they had been, none of them had living arrangements which would have allowed for me to stay with them in any capacity, much less on almost no notice.

As I finished my tea, my mind wandered and I found myself reminiscing over when I'd met Patrick. I was part of an Exchange program in college, and so I spent eighteen months studying in America. He was working as a security guard for a nightclub I frequented when I could afford to focus a little less on my studies, and one night in the beginning of my Exchange, I had my drink spiked whilst I was out. Patrick called an ambulance, and spent the whole night waiting at the hospital with me. They kept me in overnight, and he insisted on being the one to pick me up the next morning. He showed up with my favourite flowers and took me out for coffee and breakfast. We'd been inseparable ever since, and he surprised me the Christmas I'd come home by showing up on my doorstep. That had been three years ago now, and here we were, on the verge of married life.

As I lay in my oversized king framed bed, I stared straight up at the roof. It was beyond the early hours of the morning and I needed to sleep but I couldn't. I don't even know how much time had passed before I turned my head to the side, glancing at the alarm clock on my bedside table. 4:27am. Of course it was just my luck that I had to be up in less than two hours. I tried to convince myself that this note was a whole misunderstanding and that it was just some ridiculous person's idea of a joke. But if that truly were the case why was I still awake worrying about it? I tried my best to shrug it off; telling myself that the note didn't mean much, besides the fact that it contained my name. It's not like Patrick was cheating on me and I knew that for a fact. So whoever had left it behind was only out to worry me for no reason. With no family and very few friends, I narrowed it down to one person. The only person capable of being behind this for a logical reasoning. The only person who was immature enough to do something like this was Jessica. Jessica Smith. Over a month ago she reached out to Patrick trying to flirt with him, this came as no surprise when I found out, she'd been doing this ever since Patrick and I got together. She couldn't stand that I dated the captain of the football team back in High School, while she never had the chance. It's not like she envied me or anything because she didn't, she enjoyed sabotaging my chances of happiness far too much. As I turned my head so that my eyes were concentrating on the pale white ceiling, my mind wandered and I found myself reminiscing over my last dreadful senior year experience with Jess.

I'd been pulled from an assessment period by the school counsellor, who, despite my many protests, and those of my peers; insisted I join him in his office. He did not speak to me as we walked, and when we arrived at his office, he opened the door to reveal the school chaplain and someone I did not recognise, who were quietly discussing something. Mr Andrews, the counsellor, cleared his throat awkwardly, and his colleagues fell into silence.

'Miss Edwards,' the chaplain, who insisted everyone refer to him as Scott, began. 'Why don't you take a seat?' I glanced around the room, but every available chair was occupied. The woman I didn't recognise got to her feet. I objected, but was cut off by Mr Andrews.

'You really ought to be seated for this, Miss Edwards,' he insisted. 'Unfortunately, I'm afraid we do not have pleasant business to attend to.' My teeth sank into my lower lip as I let myself drop into the now empty chair. 'I assume you've noticed the absence of Miss Smith from your classes today?' Mr Andrews asked. I nodded. 'Well dear,' he continued; 'it's because, ahhh...' He drifted off and was no longer making eye contact with me. 'Shall I put on a pot of tea?' He wondered, and; not waiting for an answer, he proceeded to busy himself with the kettle across the room, which was now full of a tense, awkward silence.

'Unfortunately, Miss Smith was in a car accident during the early hours of Sunday morning,' Scott continued. I remember asking if they were individually pulling the grade from class to tell us this, and wondered why, given we were in an exam period, and surely this could wait. 'Miss Edwards,' Scott cleared his throat. 'This is Constable Parker, she's from the local Police Department.'

I looked over to the woman who I hadn't recognised as we came in. She breathed deeply, shook her head slightly, and came closer to me. 'Miss Smith wasn't the only one in the accident.' Receiving no response from me, Constable Parker continued. 'Unfortunately, Miss Smith's accident involved another car.' At this point, there was a tap on my shoulder. Mr Andrews handed me a cup of tea, and looked towards the Constable, still not meeting my eyes. At this point I realised no one in the room was making eye contact with me. I sipped carefully from my tea, and noticed Mr Andrews had not offered a cup to anyone else. I thought this was strange, seeing as he wasn't the type to be so impolite. Constable Parker exhaled slowly. 'The other car in the accident,' she began, as I watched something I took to be pain flicker quickly across her face. 'It belonged to your parents, love.' My heart had sunk, and I remember suddenly being overcome with panic. I think I even dropped Mr Andrews' mug. I couldn't speak, but I didn't have to, the constable answered the only question I had. 'They didn't make it.'

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