• 25.5 ~ Europe
So this. This might be his favorite spot so far. He let his eyes roam over the color-explosion in front of them, trying to take it all in, memorize some of his favorite parts. Lennon’s face blown into larger-than-life proportions was dominating one part of the facade, the bold letters spelling LASKÀ were monopolizing another section. Louis wouldn’t have called the wall exactly pretty, there were too many different shades and styles and colors mixed for it to form a harmonious composition, but that was probably the appeal of it. In the effort to recall what the travel guide had said about the Lennon Wall, Louis almost missed how Harry was frantically rummaging in his backpack.
“Harry? What’s up?” Louis queried, his voice strained with uncertainty about Harry’s state. Harry’s head snapped up when Louis touched his shoulder lightly. With faint relief, Louis found Harry’s face indeed furrowed in concentration but the desperation he’d expected to find was thankfully left wanting. As if shaking himself out of his thoughts, Harry cleared his throat and replied.
“D’you have a pen? I want to write something on it.” Reaching around for his backpack, he remembered the sharpie he’d stowed away back in Amsterdam. He’d swiped it from the bar counter when Harry and he had stumbled off to their respective rooms, buzzed with a couple of beers and the debris of their conversation. The memory, however, was a weak reverberation of the actual events. Finally, he handed Harry the sharpie and waited expectantly.
“What are you gonna write?”
“I thought something like, you know, connected to freedom. Or love.” The firm tone of Harry’s voice lead Louis to assume that this wasn’t the first time he thought about it.
“Or both,” Louis supplied.
“There’s this quote from a book I read when I was in Amsterdam and I really liked it. It’s from `Perks of Being a Wallflower´.” Harry’s stance was wary, ready to cave at the first assault, and Louis wanted to hug him. Envelop Harry in his arms, shielding him from any abhorrent outer force that had the audacity to question this boy’s beautiful mind. Louis prayed to any deity that might listen to him that Harry would never be forced to change even an iota of his personality and yet, Louis wasn’t above mocking Harry just to see the other boy get riled up.
“Harold, you’re going to be an English Lit student and you want to tell me that you aren’t going to quote some illustrious classic like Brontë, Wilde or Shakespeare?” Louis joked, fake-disappointment in his voice.
“Shakespeare’s overrated and I guess, YA lit is just generally underrated and I can really relate to that quote,” Harry threw back. Briefly, he searched for a good spot to place his quote and started writing when he found one. As soon as he was finished, he stepped back, pleased smile tugging on his lips, and studied his little piece of art. Louis stepped forward to read the short verse, black letters standing out on the pink background. There between much larger and more colorful writings were the words Harry had scribbled, the lines jittery on the uneven base: `and in that moment, I swear we were infinite.´ Louis’ mind was replete with puzzlement. He was neither disappointed nor surprised that that was the quote Harry had chosen, but there was a daunting anticipation enclosing Louis’ chest. He knew with almost absolute certainty that this was something invaluably close to Harry and what made him the person he was. Louis wasn’t going to be the one who dared disturb that.
“I don’t really know what to make of it, to be honest,” Louis admitted tentatively, “How do you relate to it?” For an almost unbearable moment, Harry remained silent and Louis began to worry that he might have stepped into forbidden territory with that question.
“I guess - It’s hard to explain it without the context of the book, you know, but like. Basically, I want to be able to say this phrase at some point in my life and genuinely mean it,” Harry explained. Louis’ face must have still shown his confusion and so Harry continued. “You know, that moment when you’re so happy you feel like you can reach out to all ends of the world and yet your feet haven’t left the ground. D’you know what I mean?”
“Yeah, I think so,” Louis mumbled, his mouth dry and his hands jittery. They stayed for a few minutes longer, Louis had already gotten used to Harry’s tireless eagerness when it came to documenting their trip and so he let the curly-headed boy snap away happily. Louis once again tried to catalogue the countless scribblings in his mind and ended up overwhelmed by the amount of heartfelt emotions, dreams and desires the visitors of this place had perpetuated on these walls. According to their guide, the different images were constantly painted over, covered up by new artworks and the magnitude of personalized history made Louis feel lightheaded, incredibly small and insignificant.
When Harry returned to him, Louis smiled reassuringly at him. The thought of Harry sharing such an integral part of himself with Louis made his heart race and a consoling warmth was spreading through his limbs down to his toes.
“You ready to go?” Harry nodded in response.
“I want to get one of these things Niall told me about. Like, they’re these deep fried dough patches and you eat them with Ketchup and cheese, apparently,” Harry told him, fiddling with the pocket of his jeans.
“Ok, but Harry, you realize that sounds like an awful combination, right?” Louis mocked, “How do I know I can trust Niall’s judgement on culinary debaucheries like this one?”
“Have you actually met Niall?” Harry huffed incredulously. Ah, right. Louis possibly featured a shortage of knowledge on that front.
“Unlike others, I haven’t been friends with him for ages, Haz. So, I don’t exactly think I’m qualified to make any assumptions about his, nutritional preferences.”
“That’s about the first thing you notice about Niall, though. I guess. At least that was probably the first thing he told me about when we met. That he loves food a lot.”
“In that case, I’m fine with trying, whatever that thing is called.”
“He actually said he wanted to meet you. Niall, you know. Like, properly this time when we- I mean, when we’re back in London and only if you- if you still want to hang out. Then. I know you’ve got your friends at home and like, I’ve got Niall but- and we we’re getting along really well and. I just thought-”
“I’d love to hang out when we’re back in London, Harry,” Louis stopped Harry’s verbal waffling. Harry’s cheeks had turned a deep crimson and Louis could have dismissed it with the heavy midday sun burning down on them but he was pretty sure their exchange had something to do with it.
Stopping mid-step, Louis grabbed Harry’s elbow so that he’d look at Louis. The sunlight was making it hard to look up but Louis was adamant about this, needed Harry to know that Louis didn’t regret or resent anything about this. Well, maybe he did regret some things that had happened over the last few days but none of them could be blamed on Harry, instead Louis had grudgingly accepted to see them as a result of his lack of restraint and the inability to keep his stupid feelings at bay. Anyway. This was more important right now.
“And for the record: I’m really glad we’re doing this together. I like travelling with you.” Harry’s answer consisted of a blinding smile, the one that brought out the dimples and made his eyes sparkle and did eyes even sparkle? Louis didn’t know but it was exactly what Harry’s smile did to the boy’s features. Louis was trying to get his heart beat back to its normal rhythm, momentarily affected by the direct confrontation with the full force of Harry’s charm.
“I’m just checking what they’re called. Niall sent me the name a couple of days ago.” Harry was reading something on his phone then, brows raised in disbelief. “So, these things are called - Trdelník.”
“Yeah, scratch that, Harold. I'm not gonna eat something that sounds like it was already eaten once,” Louis exclaimed, mock-revulsion heavily accentuated in the tone of his voice.