“I’m sorry, but we just sold the last copy,” says the apologetic man behind the counter at the record store.
“Ok, thanks. I’ll try a different store,” replies Louis.
Louis Tomlinson’s favorite band just released their new album and, being the vinyl collector he is, he’s determined to get his hands on a copy. He’s been to five different record shops so far and each one seems to have sold out right before he got there. He walks out of the store and gets into his car. He looks over at the list sitting on the passenger seat and realizes there’s only one store left. With a sigh he enters the name of the last shop into his GPS.
When Louis arrives at the store he quickly parks his car and hurries inside. After a moment he finally spots what he’s been looking for all day. He rushes over and finally grabs the record that he’s worked so hard to find. Unfortunately, another hand grabs it at the same time. Louis looks at the hand with annoyance, its nails covered in baby blue polish, before letting his gaze trail up past the cross tattoo next to their thumb and the anchor on their wrist to the person’s face. He finds himself staring into a pair of gorgeous green eyes, wide with surprise. The other guy holding onto the record is cute, really cute actually, but Louis isn’t planning on letting that phase him. Louis narrows his eyes at the man.
“Let go,” Louis says, his tone clearly irritated.
“What the fuck? No!” the other man replies, sounding surprised and slightly offended.
“I’ve looked for this record in every store in town. This has been a whole day’s project. Now let go of it,” Louis growls.
“I have, too! I want it and I’m not letting go!” the other man replies. He looks a bit intimidated but he’s standing his ground.
“Is everything ok over here?” asks an employee, walking over to the two men.
“No!” they both exclaim.
“What seems to be the matter?” the employee asks.
The two men both rush to answer, pointing fingers at one another and yelling about how they both have been looking for the record all day. It comes out all jumbled but the employee is able to understand the gist of it.
“If you don’t calm down and figure out who is going to purchase this record, I’m going to have to ask you both to leave,” the employee says.
Both men look at each other and then back at the employee.
“I’m not letting go,” says Louis.
“Well neither am I,” says the other man.
“Do you want me to go see if there’s another copy in the back of the store?” the employee asks, trying to hold on to the last shreds of their patience.
Both men agree and the employee walks off.
“If there’s not another copy I’m taking this one,” Louis says.
“No you aren’t. I am,” insists the other man.
This back and forth arguing continues until the employee returns.
“I’m sorry guys but that’s the last copy,” they say, sighing.
Upon hearing this, both men start yelling and demanding that the other lets go.
“Stop! You’re causing a scene! I need both of you to leave right now!” the employee shouts over the yelling.
When they hear this the two men freeze.
“So, I can’t get the record?” Louis asks.
“Absolutely not,” answers the employee.
“What about me? Can I get the record?” Harry asks, smiling sweetly.
“No, you can’t,” replies the tired employee.
“Are you sure I can’t have it?” Louis asks again.
“No! Neither one of you is getting the record. Now leave the store before I call my manager,” the employee says, clearly frustrated.
Louis winces, realizing how foolishly he’s just acted. He looks at the other man with the bright green eyes and sees that he appears to be having the same reaction. They both set the record back on the shelf and mumble apologies to the employee before leaving the store with their heads hung. When they get out to the car park they turn to face each other.
“Well, we sure made fools of ourselves in there,” Louis says, cringing.
“Yeah we did. I don’t think I’m ever going to show my face in there again,” the man says.
Louis gently kicks a rock with his shoe, not looking up to make eye contact with the gorgeous man with the green eyes.
“Yeah, me too,” Louis says softly.
The other boy nibbles at the chipped nail polish on his thumb, but he can’t stop staring at Louis’ side profile.
“My, uh – my name’s Harry, by the way” the man says, a little hesitancy in his voice.
Louis looks up at Harry with a smile and says, “I’m Louis.”
They don’t look away from each other for a few seconds, until Harry speaks again.
“So, I assume you’re a record collector?”
“Yeah I am. And I love that band so I really wanted that record for my collection. I guess I’ll just have to wait,” Louis replies.
“Yeah, same here. Have you checked all the shops in town?” Harry asks.
“Yep. This was the last one,” Louis answers sadly.
“I had one more on my list. Have you checked Where Do Broken Records Go yet?” Harry asks.
Louis perks up.“No I haven’t! I’ve never heard of that one,” he says.
“It’s this great used record store. They have some really niche music. I got a collector’s edition of Up All Night there a few months back. It’s not too far from here, actually. Want to go check there together? They usually get shipments of the most popular new albums. You can follow my car,” Harry suggests.
“Sure!” Louis agrees. He’s excited at the prospect of finding what he’s been searching for and also at the idea of getting to spend more time with this admittedly good-looking man.
The two men get in their cars and Louis follows Harry out of the car park and down the road. They travel several blocks before arriving at a small building with a sign that reads “Where Do Broken Records Go” above the front door. They both park their cars and walk up to the front door.
“Fingers crossed they have at least two copies,” Harry says, chuckling.
Louis laughs and the pair walks into the building. Immediately a display catches their attention. There are cardboard cutouts of the band members surrounding a popup shelf. On the shelf are exactly two copies of the album they have both been searching for. They both hurry over and Harry picks the records up, handing one to Louis. They grin excitedly at each other and rush up to the checkout counter.
“I can’t believe we found it!” Louis exclaims.
“Me neither! I thought we were going to have to wait for a restock,” Harry responds as they make their purchases.
Once both transactions are complete, Louis and Harry walk out to the front of the store.
“Thanks for telling me about this place,” Louis says, smiling.
“Don’t mention it. It was the least I could do after the way I acted,” Harry replies.
“How can I make it up to you? My behavior was just as bad as yours, if not worse,” Louis says, grimacing.
“You could take me out on a date,” Harry says with a wink.
“You’d want that?” Louis asks.
Harry nods. “Absolutely,” he says.
The pair make plans to meet at Harry’s favorite restaurant at 7:00 that night before parting ways, excited for the evening to come.