Chapter 1 - Official
"Hurry up, Kelsey! They're gonna be here soon!" Mom exclaims from the living room, her voice ringing out through the house.
"Mom, just relax, alright?" I tell her as I come into her view, shaking my head at her antics. "Don't exert yourself out too much, okay?"
"Yes, yes, I know," she responds, sitting on the couch with a tired sigh I had unfortunately grown used to. "But they are almost here and we need to make sure everything's ready."
I roll my eyes, tucking a strand of my short blonde hair behind my ear. Today was the day when sir Harry Styles himself was coming to our house along with his family. The guy finally got some free time out of his boy band expeditions and is now coming to our house with his family to, well, meet the bride. It’s been almost a month since Mom told me about her cancer—once month since she shaved her head and had began sporting various different bandanas—and since she told me about this marriage, and we're finally seeing the groom and his family. But above all else, she was growing weaker and it was so visible.
Her skin was growing paler by the day and she wouldn't stop coughing. She refused to stay in the hospital, knowing that it wouldn't stop her cancer from growing any harsher than it already was—much to my protests.
When Mom told me that the guy in fact was Harry Styles, I didn't believe her at first. I mean, who would? He was, obviously, one of the biggest performers in the world. But then she told how she is best friends with his mother, with them going to the same college back in the day. Which is unbelievable, since she never mentioned him before even though she was aware of how big One Direction was. But the family is flying down here to Miami, Florida to meet us, and I was beginning to realize how real all of this was.
As we waited for the Styles to arrive, I was on the phone with my best friend, Logan, as I fixed up the kitchen. "This guy better be worth this whole shit," he spoke through the phone. "I don't want my best friend getting married to a total dick."
I chuckle, shaking my head. Logan was always protective over me, but that's what made him such a good friend. The two of us have been friends for over twelve years, joined at the hip. Sometimes I feel like he likes me more than just a friend, but I like to think that he doesn't. It's so much more simpler that way, especially since I don't return his feelings. I would never admit this to him, until he acted upon it, but for now, Logan was just my best friend.
"We'll see about that, Logan," I tell him, resting my iPhone in between my right shoulder and cheek as I take two glasses from the dishwasher and put them inside the cabinet.
"So you're seriously going through with this?" he asks, and I can tell that he's raising his dark brown eyebrows.
"I have to," I sigh, reaching my right hand up to hold my phone properly. "My mom's dying, Logan," I add in a hushed whisper, willing my voice not to crack. "It's what she wants me to do, and I have to." I purse my lips, leaning against the counter. "It's not like I want to; this whole thing can blow up in our face—you see online how harsh his fans are! They'll eat me alive." I pause for a moment, before sighing for the nth time. "But I'll do it—for my mom, I will."
Logan stays silent for a moment, his breathing being the only thing I can hear as I ponders my words. "I guess you're right," he finally speaks.
Suddenly, the bell rang and I stood up straighter, eyes widening. "Shit, Logan, they're here. I'll call you later!"
"Tell me how it goes," Logan says before I hang up.
As I make my ways towards the door, I stop for a second to look at myself in the hallway mirror. I was wearing white skinny jeans, a dark blue yet plain V-neck, and a pair of my homey UGG slippers.
As I run towards the door, I see my mom standing up and I stopped. "Mom, sit down, I'm getting it," I tell her sternly. She sighs and sits back down without a fight, and I straighten my hair before I gripped the door knob and opened it.
And when I did, I froze.
Standing right in front of me was a guy almost six feet in height, towering over my small frame. A mop of brown curls sat on his head, curling in a few places while staying a bit wavy in others. He had piercing green eyes that looked as if they were looking through my freaking soul, and it caused me to shiver. His jaw line was defined, and I could make out the abs peeking through his flimsy shirt. He was devilishly handsome, to say the least, and the pictures I've seen of him online don't do him justice.
I offer a small smile, opening the door wider. "Come on in," I say. As bitter as I may be, I can't exactly be a bitch to him. I had manners, after all.
The guy merely nods before walking in, and then I see the three other people. One was an older woman, another was a woman who looked about a year or two older than I did, and the other was a grown man. The parents and sister, I'm sure.
"It's so good to see you again, Kelsey," the woman, Anne, grinned. "My, how you've grown."
I awkwardly smile back. I've never seen this woman in my life, so what could I say? As they all walked in, I guided them to the living room where my mom stood up. "Mom, stop moving so much," I tell her sternly.
"Oh, hush, Kelsey," Mom chuckles, walking over to Anne. "Anne! I missed you."
"Klara, love, I've missed you so much as well," Anne exclaims, hugging back my mother.
As the two of them have their reunion, I look at the boy next to me. Harry. "You can, uh, sit down," I tell him, motioning towards the couch.
Once again, he wordlessly nods and sits down, and the girl and man sit down as well. As Anne and Mom sit down on the two-seater couch, Mom looks at me. "Kelsey, why are you standing? Sit."
Unfortunately, the only place to sit down was next to the curly haired boy, and that's where I sat. This whole thing was going to be extremely awkward, I can just feel it. Just when Anne and Mom started talking, I kind of zoned out. I was looking at down at my shoes and at my silver toe nails, their words not reaching my ears.
I suddenly stood up, causing everyone to look at me. "I'm just, um, gonna go to the bathroom real quick," I mumble, walking down the hall and towards the bathroom.
Once in there, I lock the door shut as I stare at myself in the mirror. My dark blonde eyebrows were scrunched together as I ran a hand through my blonde hair, biting my bottom lip. I couldn't do this, no doubt about that, but I needed to stop being selfish. I have to do it, for my mother. It's what she wants, and I need to deliver. But the whole thing is nerve wracking! I mean, marrying a guy who's in the world's biggest band? Yeah, right. As if something like that could ever work out.
When I walk back out, I see that the man, Robin, is gone. "Where'd he go?" I ask.
"To walk around for a bit," Gemma, Harry's sister, answers and I nod.
"Now, we need to talk about the wedding," Anne grins, clapping her hands excitedly.
My eyes widen at her words. "Whoa, wait, what wedding?" I frown, sputtering out the words.
Everyone looked at me, including Harry, but I chose to ignore him. "Well, we're going to have a wedding, of course," Mom frowns, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
I shake my head. "Oh, no, no, no," I say quickly. "I don't want to have a wedding, Mom."
"But Kelsey—" Mom was about to speak, but I cut her off.
"Mom," I start up again firmly. "I know that this is what you want—for me to get married—but since this is an arranged marriage, I'd much rather have it just be private. Sign the marriage papers or whatever and get it over with. No need to make such a big deal out of this."
"She's right," a new voice spoke, and it startled me a bit when I realized that it was Harry. His voice was deep and slow, his British accent adding the—dare I say it—sexy aspect into it. "A big wedding's going to draw attention, and the fans don't need to see that. They already are going crazy at the fact that I'm getting married so quickly. A big wedding is just going to pile up to that."
I quietly let out a sigh of relief, glad that the two of us were on the same page. It was obviously fortunate that the guy I was getting married to didn't want a big wedding, like our mothers did. I didn't see the point in a wedding, honestly. I just wanted this whole thing over with. A wedding would just be an unwanted formality.
"Fine, then," Anne sighs. "We'll get the marriage documents as soon as we can and then you'll sign them."
"What happens after?" I ask, raising an eyebrow.
"You move in with Harry in his apartment in London," Mom tells me, and I had to clamp my mouth shut in order to stop myself from choking on my own damn spit.
"Can't I stay here?" I ask her. "Only for a couple of days w-with you?"
Before Mom could answer, Anne piped in. "Kelsey's right, Klara," she says, looking at Mom. "You should spend a little time with your daughter," she trails off, her tone faltering.
Mom nods, lips pulling into a smile as her soft blue eyes met my own. "Of course."
"So that's a no on the wedding?" Logan asks as he crunches a salt and vinegar flavored Lays chip.
"Yup," I reply, lips smacking at the end of the word.
He then looks at me. "And you're seriously moving to London town to live with a guy you don't even know?"
I give him a look. "Dude, I'm marrying a guy I don't even know."
Logan shakes his head, scoffing lightly. "This is such bull shit."
"Shut up," I snap, frowning. "My mom's dying, Logan, and this is what she wants for me. I can't just say no. It's her dying wish," I add, dramatizing the word because that's my life felt like right now. Some dramatic soap opera.
"Chill," Logan chuckles.
Logan and I have been best friends for about twelve years, joined at the hip and doing everything together. He understood me like no one else, and I loved him for that. And even though I have my suspicions that he feels something for me as more than a friend, I choose to stay away from that possibility, seeing as I didn't like Logan that way. He was a friend, nothing more.
The two of us were currently sitting in his living room, chewing on Lays as we watched Star Trek. Suddenly, our marathon was cut short when the door bell rang, causing Logan to groan as he got up to see who it was. As I waited for him to return, I heard his voice.
"Kelsey, it's for you," Logan's voice calls out.
I frown as I push aside the bag of chips, licking off the salt and vinegar that was on my fingers. Walking towards the entrance hall, I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw who was at the door.
"What are you doing here?" My frown deepens as I walk closer and stop next to Logan.
"Your mum gave me the address," Harry speaks in his deep British accent. "She needs you home."
"Why?" I ask, a sudden surge of panic running through me. "Is she okay?"
"She's fine," he assures quickly, quelling my sudden alarm. Harry then takes a deep breath, his green eyes locking with my blue ones. "The papers need to be signed."
My breath hitched as I heard his words, knowing exactly what he meant. It was time to make this wedding thing official.