This Time I'm Ready To Run.

Birthday Songs

23.

I never imagined I’d be here on my 23rd birthday, laid in Harry’s arms whilst he’s sound asleep. I had no intention to do so anyway.

The last birthday I had here in New York didn’t feel very celebrated as Mum was busy doing work but Dad took me to the cafe after his shift. The last time we went to the cafe, in fact.

I’m not asking for much, though, as age is just one year off your life. But I would like a ‘happy birthday’ message from Emma at least.

In fact, I haven’t heard from her in a while. She keeps saying she’s been busy and yesterday she said that her parents are over. I don’t know much about her parents. The only time I’ve seen them, they’ve been amazing people and they’re great to be around. They are always on business trips, though.

I think I’ve gotten used to the fact that I’m back in New York. It’s as if I’m progressing backwards. I haven’t seen my parents around anywhere but in all honesty, why would I? New York is always so alive and busy.

I wouldn’t change the experience for the world, though. I mean, I ran away from my problems, just as I do again, and again and again. So it’s nice to revisit my problems. Maybe I’ll resolve them. But as of now, I’m happy being held by Harry’s warm arms as his face is in my hair, giving me all the warmth I need.

Harry looks so soft when he sleeps. His eyes are softly shut, and his breaths are so placid. Deep breaths, his lips look so soft and calm, if that makes sense. You would never imagine for such human being to look so angelic in his sleep.

“What are you looking at?” He croaks. How did he know? My cheeks burn up as my heart skips a beat.

I watch as he flutters his eyes open and cringes at the light shining on the bed. “How long have you been awake?” I ask, completely discarding his question.

“I just woke up,” He smiles. He slowly sits up from his warm spot on the bed and hovers over my body. From there, he smiles, even more, making my stomach jitter, and my lungs fill to the brim. “Happy birthday,” He smirks before lightly pecking my lips.

He remembered.

My cheeks turn pink, he studies my neutral face before pressing his lips to mine once more, making my insides melt. He looks down at my body, guessing he wants to see if I’m decent. “Come with me,” He says reverting his eyes back up to me.

“Harry, you’re not even dressed yet,” I say as he leaps eagerly off the bed. I quickly follow his trail to his suitcase as he picks up some random clothes and slips them on himself and then turns back to face me.

“Yes I am.”

I suck in all the air I can before I exhale, placing my hands on my hips. “Where are we going?” I ask as he takes my hand and leads me to the front of the apartment to slide on his shoes. I do the same but before I have my last shoe tied up, I’m already out the door.

“Guess you’ll have to find out,” He smirks, trying to be smart with me. I roll my eyes as he sends a lift to come up our way.

I’ve just realised I’m not even dressed.

“Harry, I need clo-” Before I finish my sentence, he hands me a slightly muted pink dress.

I look up at him in shock. “Happy birthday,” He smiles. My jaw doesn’t leave the floor as he continues. “First gift.”

The lift doors ding open and he leads me inside. I try to shake up some thoughts in my head as the doors slowly begin to shut. “Harry where am I meant to put this on?”

“Now I guess. We’ve got some time.” He smiles.

I shake my head no. Why would I do that? “You’ll have to be quick.” He says before I could speak.

I roll my eyes and give in, removing my nightwear and sliding on the dress, him looking down to the ground, giving me privacy. “Beautiful, love.” He says once the dress is on.

The door dings open before we walk outside, hand in hand. I feel like I’ve just woken up. It probably hasn’t even been 10 minutes yet.


Harry leads me to this surprisingly quiet beach area, isolated from the rest. There’s this wooden ledge, higher than the sand, Harry and I sit there as the waves crash, the salty air filling my lungs.

It’s surprisingly not too cold. I mean New York isn’t the warmest in the world. But it’s a nice day for May. The waves are calm, the ground is dry and the sun is beaming. Lukewarm.

Harry and I look at the blue waves, as I swing my legs back and forth off the ledge. “Thank you, Harry.”

“Don’t,” He smiles at me. “It’s your birthday, love,” He stands up off the ledge and reaches out for my hands. I hesitate to take it though. He takes his blacked-out sunglasses off his curls and slides them on me, making my stomach churn. It tickles. I contain my laughter as he kisses my temple.

He takes my waist and pulls me closer, making my heart fill up my chest. I smile at his smile as we start to sway from side to side.

We’re dancing.

We dance in utter silence, not making anything awkward, though. Only for a short while.

“I’ve got a girl crush.”

He sings in my ear, as quiet as singing could get.

The singing alone makes my heart feel whole, but the lyrics make my stomach flutter too.

He’s singing to me.

And the only music is the waves crashing in the background.

Other than that, the whole world goes silent.

“I hate to admit it but, I got a heart rush,”

He laughed at his singing as we swayed with more ease.

“It ain’t slowing down”

Harry sings in a raspy tone. He makes eye contact with me, making my cheeks burn pink. It feels amazing, I can’t describe it. It’s better than words, you can’t explain the feeling. The closest I can do is cared for, my heart clenches at the words, it making my stomach dance along.

“I’ve got it real bad.”

He sounds so raw singing the words. Sometimes I feel his full lips brush along my ear as he sings the words that make me want him more and more.

I’ve become a different person.

“Want everything she has”

Our hands discover each other’s as I put my head in the crook of his neck, feeling the warmth from him.

“I wanna taste her lips,”

He sounds so vulnerable to his words. He’s not using his full voice to sing it to me. More of just talking in a singing tone. It’s calming, it makes my insides feel warm.

“I want her magic touch,”

Harry and I start swaying in circles, as I get closer than I already was.

I can’t think of anything to explain the feeling.

And I don’t want to explain, just want to enjoy the moment.

“Yeah, ’cause maybe then you’d want me just as much”

He holds on to my waist more firmly before he continues.

“Lord knows I’ve tried, I can’t get her off my mind”

He stops. What is he doing, don’t stop, it was beautiful.

He pulls away and smiles at me.

Without giving me time to think, he pulls me up so I’m wrapping my legs around his waist, making my stomach tingle as I chuckle at the admirable actions. I take my hands and lightly place them on his shoulder as we sway to his music once more.

“I wanna taste her lips,”

He’s singing in a slightly more full voice, still sounding raw and vulnerable, though.

“I’ve got a girl crush.”

His performance finishes yet we still keep on swaying along. He starts humming the tune of the song, making my heart throb.

He washes away all the bad in my life.

I mean, we met when I was stressed over a blank document and now, every time I see him, it’s the best feeling in the world.

“That was beautiful, Harry,” I smile in awe whilst he places me down. I watch as his lips mould into a smile of pure satisfaction. “Thank you.”

His smile lights up even more as he weaves my hand in his. I watch his checks blush but he tries to hide it. “There’s a breakfast shop over there, heard they were good.” He says, cocking his body to the left.


“No, it tickles!” I squeal as we roll around in the warm sand.

He rolls on top of me, showing his dominance as he showers kisses everywhere he sees as the sun starts to set. I laughed as it really, genuinely tickles me and I cant contain it.

“Do you feel free?” He asks out of nowhere.

“What sort of question is that?”

I ask, as he gets up, off of me. “That’s a no then.”

“Ha-”

“Love, loosen up,” He smiles, backing up. He spreads out his inked arms as spirals around “this is all ours, love.”

I smile at his behaviour as he lets his arms fall to his legs. “You’re crazy.”

“You said everyone has a crazy side.” He says. Fact.

“You trust me?” He says, reaching his hand out.

Every time he does that, it reminds me of the first time we met. I don’t say anything as my brain can comprehend anything right now.

But, I take his hand.

He starts running to the ocean as I have to try to speed up, as I start panicking. “Harry I need to-”

“Love, you’re overthinking, relax,” He shouts from behind. This reminding of the airport, the night we went to Japan. I watch as he starts to remove all his clothing until he’s left in his underwear.

I try not to think as much as possible, like he said, as I start to remove all the clothing I had on me, the speed not slowing down.

I feel the waves crashing onto my ankles as I know we’ve made it to the ocean. It’s freezing, but I don’t think about it.

We run in deeper, letting our bodies get indulged in the salty water.

I watch in awe as Harry’s eyes twinkle in the setting sky, his hair long as it’s soaked, his genuine smile plastered on his face. I can’t keep my eyes off him.

The only part of him I can see is his head, the light reflecting on him.

Then it clicks.

I know exactly what I’m feeling.

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