• 9.0 ~ Decrepit Hotel
however unreasonable, which springs from a great love, than to be unmoved."
It’s hot. Like really, really excruciatingly hot. Harry’s lived here for three years and he doesn’t think he’ll ever get used to just how hot it gets during the summer. He glances over at the thermometer against the door frame, mentally noting it’s 92 degrees F at 11 AM and only bound to get hotter. The metal portable fan he has aimed directly at his face is on its last legs and he watches as the blades spin around and around. It’s the only thing he had to do this afternoon, really. The motel he works at, fancily named after the family that opened it 50 years ago, King Motel, operates about 30 miles south of Winslow, Arizona, give or take. At least that’s what Harry’s been told to tell anyone who shows up what Harry wished would be to stay, but usually only for directions. That’s about as much consistent human interaction Harry gets most days because there’s exactly 3 people who ever stay at King Motel. There’s Clyde, a biker who travels from Texas to California every few months. Harry’s only held a conversation longer than 2 minutes with him twice, enough to know where he’s always coming from and going to, but Harry’s seen the inside of his wallet and when he noticed photos of two different sets of kids and a woman in each, Harry began suspecting Clyde has two families. Then there’s Miss Barbara, an elderly woman who has taken it upon herself to start gardens in remote places, one of which is in the back of this very motel. Miss Barbara is Harry’s favorite person, mostly because she always bakes Harry delicious sweets when she stops by to bring in new plants or take care of the ones already there. Harry doesn’t know if what she’s doing is allowed, but since the owners never come around, Harry sure isn’t going to be the one to stop her. Lastly, there’s Jonny, Harry’s best friend and practically only friend, if you don’t count Miss Barbara, if only because of the limited amount of people in this town. Jonny lives a ways outside of town, actually, which makes it hard for him to visit Harry as often as either of them would like, especially since Jonny’s going to technical school now. Other than that, Harry’s being paid to sit on his ass day after day, patiently waiting for anyone to stay the night. He often wonders how long it’ll be before the motel is forced to shut down. He shudders to think of what he’ll have to do after that.
It’s Sunday, which means Miss Barbara is supposed to come today after church, so Harry goes around back to unlock the gate surrounding the garden. There’s a large, thorny vine growing over the gate, so Harry moves carefully as he opens the gate and steps inside. Just as he moves a few pots around to allow for more room, he sees Miss Barbara’s Eldorado pull in sloppily beside the building.
“Hi!” he yells, waving. He runs over to her car, opening the door for her.
“Hi, darling. How are you?” she greets, taking Harry’s hand as she gets out of the car. She speaks quickly as she moves around the car. “Will you get those pots in the trunk here for me and just put them away? We’ll work on them next week. I can’t stay today, my godson’s getting married.” Harry nods, grabbing the bigger clay pot.
“Oh, really? Tell him I said congratulations.”
“I will,” she replies, shutting the trunk when Harry has both pots on the ground. “Oh! Almost forgot. Here, I brought some leftovers from our church dinner. I know you said to stop doing that, but baby, you gotta put a little meat on those bones.” She pats his hip gently. Harry laughs as she hands him an aluminum foil covered plate and kisses his cheek.
“Thank you.” He watches as she climbs back inside her car, shouting to heat the food up, idly waving and veers off quickly. The short interaction causes Harry to feel sullen and lonely, if only due to the fact he excited himself too much for her company. Sadly, moving the pots is Harry’s most eventful action for today.
On Wednesday, a mysterious, clunky van pulls in, disturbed gravel pulling dust up to crowd around it. It looks like it was once blue in whatever former glory it may have had, but now it’s faded out with peeling paint, exposing its grayish body. The engine coughs out exaggeratedly before the driver parks. Harry leans up in his seat to look out the window. Any other time, Harry would be scared witless seeing a piece of shit scrap of metal like that one pull into his establishment, but once the dust settles, he sees a man hop out of the backseat. A very, very attractive man with brunette hair perfectly styled to look imperfectly unstyled and matching facial hair. He’s wearing tight black jeans and a black Grateful Dead t-shirt, complete with a skull and roses. The man starts doing quick jumping jacks and toe touches and begins stretching his legs, presumably to get out any kinks and knots from a long car ride. Harry doesn’t notice he’s blowing a bubble with his gum until someone clears their throat and it pops in his face. Harry turns away from the window to see a different boy standing in front of the main desk. Harry laughs nervously, pulling the gum back into his mouth.
“Sorry, how can I help you?” The boy flashes a warm smile at Harry, responding in a distinctly Irish accent.
“Need a room for three, thanks.” Harry pulls out a book and opens it up, waving the dust that floats up away. He bites his lip, self-conscious and sort of embarrassed at how utterly desolate this place must look. He looks up, noticing how tired the boy looks, and comes to the conclusion that they must be just really desperate for a place to stay. Harry fills out a few lines in the book and then hands it to the boy.
“Here, sign this.” After he signs his name, which Harry sees is Niall, he pulls out his wallet.
“We don’t take credit cards,” Harry supplies, walking over to the wall where a cabinet of brass keys hangs. “Smoking or non-smoking?” Niall nods.
“Don’t have any, anyway. Smoking, please.” They exchange items, the key for the money. Harry holds the wad of cash, quickly flipping through it to make sure it’s the right amount as Niall leaves the main desk.
“There’s no air conditioning, by the way.” Niall laughs heartily.
“Waited t’ tell me that after I paid, huh?” Then, he stops in the doorway. “Hey, s’there anyone else on staff?” Harry furrows his eyebrows.
“No, just me. Why, do you need help with anything?”
“No. Thank you, though.”
“Have a nice stay!” Harry yells as an afterthought once Niall is gone. Harry looks back out the window, not immediately seeing the brunette man from before, but another, skinnier man with jet black coiffed hair and a sleeve of tattoos jump out of the driver’s seat, smoking a cigarette. Harry looks for the other man, but when he notices the man smoking talking to Niall, who points in Harry’s direction and they both glance over at him, he slides back down in his seat to hide, preferring not to look like a total creep.
That night, as Harry’s just about to close up shop, so to speak, the door swings open, bringing in a burst of welcomed cool wind.
“Hey,” Niall greets, strolling in like he’s been here a thousand times. Harry looks at him curiously.
“Hey. Is everything okay?”
“You wanna come smoke with us?” he asks bluntly, in lieu of an answer to Harry’s question. Harry chokes back a laugh.
“Um, yeah, sure.” He pauses when Niall starts turning around, glancing back at the door that leads into his own personal room. “I’ll be there in a minute. Just have a few things to do first.” Niall gives him a thumbs up and leaves. Harry quickly runs into his bedroom, shutting the door behind him to get a quick look at himself in the full length mirror. He contemplates taking a quick shower, but eventually decides to just change into a fresh white t-shirt after rubbing on deodorant. He shakes out his hair and decides he looks a little too plain, so he digs through his top dresser drawer and pulls out a light pink silk scarf and wraps it around his head tightly. Harry’s never been particularly meticulous about his appearance but it’s been a long while since he’s gotten to hang out with new people his own age, so he figures he should be at least presentable. He spritzes on a little cologne as a final touch before leaving, even though it’s going to be drowned out by the smell of their weed, probably. He knocks on their door, despite the fact he has a masterkey, just to be polite. The curtain in the window pulls back to expose the now familiar face of Niall just before he disappears again to open the door.
“Hi,” Harry says when Niall moves away from the door to let him in. The first thing Harry notices in the room is the brunette man is missing again. The other man is sitting at the table, carefully rolling a joint. It looks (and smells) like they’ve been at this for a while.
“This is Zayn,” Niall says, waving a hand towards him. Zayn lifts his head.
“Hey, y’alright?” Harry nods.
“Hey, yeah, good. Oh, and I’m Harry.” Zayn grabs a lighter and takes a drag, leaning back in his seat with a lazy smile on his face. Niall walks further into the room and begins digging in a duffel bag, so Harry shuts the door. He stands awkwardly with his hands clasped until Zayn offers him the joint, which he takes, coughing afterwards.
“Been a while,” he clarifies, waving away the smoke and handing it back to Zayn. In truth, it really had been a while since the last time he smoked weed with anyone. Harry doesn’t know anyone around here to get it off of. When Jonny comes around, sometimes he’ll have it, but he hasn’t seen Jonny in weeks, let alone toting around weed for Harry as well. Niall finishes fishing around in his duffel bag and comes bounding down onto the bed nearest Zayn’s table, glass in hand. He pulls out the second chair for Harry to sit in.
“So I thought you asked for a room for three?” Harry asks, curious about the third person he knows he saw.
“Yeah, Louis,” Niall responds, packing the weed into his bowl, nodding towards the bathroom. “He’s in the loo.” And just like clockwork, the bathroom door opens and out comes Louis. He’s still wearing the same clothes as before, but seeing him at this angle, up close, makes him somehow even more attractive to Harry. Smoke billows out of the bathroom, forming a cloud around Louis. It would make a perfect picture, Harry thinks.
“Speak of the devil,” Niall comments.
“Who’s this?” Louis asks, leaning against the wall, hips cocked to the side, running a hand over his scalp. His accent makes Harry miss home. Harry stands up out of habitual politeness, then sits back down when Louis gives him a curious look, a smirk on his face.
“‘I'm Harry - Styles,” he adds after a brief pause for no particular reason other than Louis’s presence making him feel ten times more self-aware than he was before.
“Well, I’m Louis - Tomlinson,” Louis says, affecting the same pause Harry had. “Ooooh, so you bring that out for him, eh?” Louis laughs when he notices Niall’s bowl, accent suddenly seeming more heavy to Harry. He walks towards the table where Zayn is rolling another joint, presumably for Louis. Louis looks back at Harry, crooking his neck towards Niall. “This fucker doesn’t share with anyone.”
“Oi! I do so. Just not with you arseholes, ‘cause last time, ya broke my best one.” Niall places the pipe in Harry’s hand, aiming it in his mouth and lights it up for him. “There ya go. S’better high than those spliffs.” Harry sees Zayn roll his eyes as he takes another drag. Louis sits down beside Niall when Zayn hands him his joint, giving a `thanks´. Harry watches as Louis lifts the joint to his perfectly pink lips, inhaling just so, his Adam’s apple prominent as he leans his neck up. The jut of his jawline is barely visible beneath his fuzzy beard and Harry has a faint desire to know what it would feel like against his thighs. The high hits him quickly. He blinks blearily to stop himself from staring. There’s an acoustic guitar case in the corner of the room, Harry notices.
“Who plays?” Niall glances where Harry’s looking.
“Oh, I do. ‘Cause we’re a band.” He smiles brightly.
“Are you headed to California?” Louis nods, speaking up, voice laced with thickness.
“Yeah, we are.” Harry looks at the three of them, narrowing his eyes.
“You’re English, though. Why didn’t you just go to London?” Louis crooks his neck at Niall, a knowing smile on his face.
“Well, firstly, this one’s not English. He’s Irish-”
“Best country in the world!” Niall shouts, slamming his hands down on the table, startling Zayn. Louis rolls his eyes, shaking his head in what Harry can tell is clear admiration. Niall stands up and reaches inside the mini-fridge behind Harry for a beer. “Want a drink?” Harry puts a hand up and shakes his head.
“No, thank you.”
“Anyway,” Louis says, gaining Harry’s attention once more. “to answer your question, we want to make it big, right? Making it big in the UK is a lot different than making it big in America, you know. We reckon we might as well skip that step if our ultimate goal is America.”
“What kind of music do you play?” Niall takes a swig of beer.
“Mostly rock, but Zayn brings a real soul vibe to it, y’know? He’s got a great voice.”
“Thanks, mate,” Zayn pipes in cheerily, fist-bumping Niall.
“Are you good?” Harry asks bluntly. The three of them share a fond look with each other. Louis chuckles softly, lips quirking as he looks at Harry. Harry takes a deep breath, trying to shake out the nerves he feels from Louis looking so directly. Jesus.
“Well, I don’t think we’d make the effort to travel all the way here if we didn’t think so,” is Louis’ reply, still chuckling, a wondrous and curious smile formed on his face. Harry wonders if he thinks Harry is peculiar. Maybe it’s the high, but the thought sends a spike of arousal down his spine and it goes like that. The four of them talk easily and smoke up for a couple of hours and eventually Zayn’s passed out on the bed and Niall is sitting beside him, leaning against the bed frame. He has his guitar in hand, strumming idly and singing nonsense and Harry finds his voice soothing, adding to the lull he feels. He’s still sitting in the same chair, knees drawn up to his chest. Louis is toeing off his shoes, probably getting ready to pass out as well. Harry watches him as he changes out of his clothes, leaving on nothing but his boxer-briefs, which show off a brilliant ass and Harry nearly chokes. Louis walks over to the sink that’s located just outside the bathroom door and begins brushing his teeth. He has a fit body, tight and firm and tan, and Harry pushes down any thoughts of licking down that chest to the soft, fleshy part of his stomach. Harry forces a cough and wipes at his mouth for no real reason as he stands up and heads for the door.
“Uh, well, thanks for having me, guys, but I’ve really got to get to sleep. If you need anything, you know where to find me.”
“No problem, mate.” Niall waves a goodbye.
“Yeah, see ya later, Harry,” Louis says through a mouthful of toothpaste just before Harry walks out of the room.
Hope you liked it (:
We zijn dus begonnen aan deel 9,
wat gaat het toch snel allemaal.
Ik kan me nog herinneren dat ik aan de eerste begon.
Dit deel zal bij elkaar 6 stukjes hebben, tot 9.5.
En omg ik ben zo zenuwachtig,
ik ga straks naar de `Where We Are, the concert film´.
Ik weet zeker dat ik het concert in Amsterdam weer ga herbeleven.
En ik ga kaleidoscoop meeten en dat is serieus heel spannend,
maar ik geloof wel dat we het heel leuk gaan hebben, na al onze gesprekken.
Dus Lins, ik denk dat je dit past leest na de film,
maar ik hoop dat jij het ook leuk gaat hebben (:
Voor iedereen die gaat, heel veel plezier.