The Fish, The Gap Year, & The Wait

Let’s keep this brief shall we? What exactly is the The Fish, The Gap Year, & The Wait?

Well, they seem to be metaphors. And most notably, they were all derived from the brilliant mind of one Mr. Harold Edward Styles. Many Zarries (myself included) genuinely believe these three concepts were the best way he could think to explain what was going on between he and Zayn from 2019-2020—-following what some of us believe was a breaking point in their theoretical post-2015 relationship (meaning they got back together after the band in 2016/2017) We believe they essentially broke up again between late 2018 -2019. That’s my personal theory, anyway. I can’t speak for other Zarries, so I will not attempt to do so. Going forward in this post, I will be describing my own theory on these three metaphors.


  1. The Fish
  2. The Gap Year
  3. The Wait
  4. Where they stand now.

1 – The Fish. The golden (and later iridescent) fish to be precise.

When taking the album Fine Line as one full story, and listening from beginning to end like Harry recommends, “Adore You” is a song where Harry seems to describe the euphoria he felt at getting back with Zayn in 2017 (I’ll break down my thoughts on the album storyline in the Fine Line Post soon.)

In that song he makes references to getting lost inside Z’s eyes (Remember he admitted he missed his eyes after going without Zayn for a few days in 2012?) and he also makes references to Z’s notorious reticence (“You don’t have to say nothing…”) and most significantly, he makes reference to his brown skin.

Watch: Harry Styles “Adore You” Is About Zayn

When asked about the fish from the music video in a later interview with Sirius Radio in 2020, Harry disclosed that for him the fish is a HE. He did not hesitate for a second. He openly let us know he personified the fish (the object of his undying adoration) as a male.


2 – The Gap Year. Following the release of “Adore You,” Harry gave an update on his relationship with the fish from the music video, who at the time was the object of his affection and total devotion. In the same interview with Sirius Radio in early 2020, he indicated that he and the fish were taking some time apart, that the fish was traveling “on a gap year,” that things were complicated, but that ultimately he hoped the fish would come home safe. At this point, he gestured to himself, indicating he thought of himself as the fish’s home.

In the clip from that radio interview where he talks about “the gap year,” it’s clear to me that Harry is being partly facetious about the fish, but certain aspects of his tone and demeanor betray he is not joking 100%. I perceive that he is exposing subtle truths about his complicated relationship with Zayn after 2015, but he’s wrapping it up in a joke because it’s the only way he can express how he feels about it. He can’t just come out and say he’s having trouble with Zayn. The world would go mad. But that is his truth, and it’s so sad he has never been able to alleviate that stress by simply talking about it.

So instead, he pretends Zayn is a pet fish that he once had and took care of and who he really liked, as he admitted in his Tiny Desk interview. Look at the affect with which Harry expresses these things about this fish. The fish is not really a pet fish. It is a person who he cares for deeply, and this very person is the inspiration behind the love-drunk lyrics of devotion throughout “Fine Line” but especially in “Adore You.”

Here are all the times Harry let it slip that the “fish” from “Adore You” was far more than a literal fish:

What I find interesting is that in the music videos for Zayn’s album NIL, he seems (in some ways) to hint that he KNOWS he is Harry’s fish. It’s difficult to explain, but I see him almost assuming the role in some ways, both in the video for “Better” and in “Vibez.” He is behaving like he knows someone is waiting on him, which is why he shows himself on a journey, and shows himself returning to the mysterious couch draped in Bode.

Here is Zayn proving he knows he is Harry’s fish:


3 – The Wait. Finally, in Harry’s December 2020 Vogue photoshoot, we are introduced to a poem called “The Wait” by Richard Brautigan (author of “In Watermelon Sugar”) that he placed on his customized senior cords Bode pants.

There are three things of note here. 1) These are customized Bode pants. 2) Zayn copied Harry and went and got a customized senior cords jacket by Bode. 3) Harry is basically confirming our theories that he is “waiting” on Zayn. Before I ever saw this photoshoot and this poem, it had always been my personal theory that Harry was waiting to be with Zayn. I think that has been obvious since he was 19 years old and wrote “Just A Little Bit Of Your Heart” and then followed it up with “Someday Maybe” in response to “I Won’t Mind.”

Here is an excerpt from “This Thing Upon Me” where I express that notion from Zayn’s point of view before this Vogue photoshoot even dropped.

But here’s the thing. It has always been abundantly clear that Harry was waiting on Zayn. I didn’t need a poem to tell me that. And, imo, anyone who denies that fact is being intellectually dishonest. Harry has always been the chaser where matters of the heart are concerned. I’m sure Zayn “chased” Harry at times for physical reasons, but I think he has generally always pushed Harry away (and ran from him) where his emotions are concerned.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Harry enjoys the physical aspects of his relationship with Zayn too (uh, hello “Medicine” and “Watermelon Sugar”) but it is my thought that Harry has also always NEEDED the emotional aspect to balance out the physical, and was therefore always deprived of it. That seems to be stated in both of their music again and again. Regardless of who hurt who and when. Obviously they both hurt each other at times. But the general notion in both their music is:

Zayn didn’t realize he was in love and he mistook it for lust; he is the often guarded, silent, and defensive (“Common”) and he is the more practical minded one as far as public appearances and the possibility of them being together in a conventional way is concerned (“I Won’t Mind”.) He is also the frightened one who beards deeply and has for a long period of time. (Zerrie engagement & Zigi baby)

Harry, however, beards in short, superficial spurts and seems to grow bored of anyone who isn’t Zayn. Harry wears his heart on his sleeve and sings about Zayn very obviously and directly (cough Fine Line cough.) Harry needs Zayn in all respects, physical and emotional (JALBOYH) so he is the more clingy, romantic, and obsessive one. He is also just a delusional optimist where all things are concerned, such as the state of the crumbling world (“Treat People With Kindness”) and in his relationship with Zayn.

Point being, Harry has been (I think) optimistic enough to feel like Zayn would eventually change and be with him. He hopes that someday Zayn is “open.” Idk how Harry feels after the baby of course, but him putting this poem on these pants in December 2020 seems to suggest maybe he is still waiting on Zayn? Even after the baby? In which case I just gotta say… Harry sweetie…(ugh if he was my real life friend I would have slapped him so hard by now, hoping he’d come to his senses and start taking care of himself and his heart.)

Let’s not forget Zayn’s coat, which I once found super-duper adorable, but then it was violated by Zigi so now it’s just kinda, meh. *rolls eyes*

*gags violently*

Anyway, here’s me talking about “The Wait” in a video from last year.


4 – Where they stand now. Yah…I don’t even know.


That was everything right? *counts fingers* “The Fish, The Gap Year, & The Wait.”

Yup, I think that about covers it.

39 thoughts on “The Fish, The Gap Year, & The Wait

  1. Hi! I hope you are doing well!! I know that this comment does not go in this post cause even though its the same topic its not related exactly. You dont need to show it on you webpage just by knowing you saw it is enough for me and the only reason why im writing it.
    I just wanted to say that I havent seen many zarries talk about the gucci campaign that was air last year. There were so many zarry coincidences in not only the chapter in which harry appears but also in the others.
    The shirts with the 25 numbers and golden and green colors. In the chapter of the bar the tables where the guy is drawing the numbers are 2 & 5. In the post office chapter the bird is inside the cage (intentionally) and again the shirt with the 25.
    I feel that harry is doing all this things for us to see but only if we are really looking at that.
    Alessandro also posted the number 25 in a necklace on intagram. The title they chose was something that never ended (which is kinda juice)
    In dont worry darling set they posted a yellow car with the number 57.
    Also I found quite interesting Taylor swift songs and William Bowery (she said if was her boyfriend).
    Especially in her last Album evermore the song Coney Island which was cowritten with William the begining sound like the intro of little things. Which we both know it a zarry song! or either Taylor got inspired in their relationship or William is not who we think it is.
    Zayn later got pap in december wearing shoes with lemons (adore you – lemon over ice) and in his sweater there was a “bowery” inspired by a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting. Again another artist Harry has said that he likes.
    Zarry coincidences are related to fashion(gucci – bode) and art this days.

    I just wanted to point this coincidences that i believe are really related to zarry. I am sure you already know cause you are observant and pay attention to details. I didnt know how to reach out to you other than leave this on your webpage. If you didnt have the time to watch the whole gucci campaign maybe this coincidences i saw will help you for a future post or not. I am sure there are many more for us to found out. I just wanted to write to you to help out a friend and leave it up to you if it is worth it or not. I dont want to be clowning and see thing where they are not so I’ll leave it up to you to do what you do best (use your logic and brain 😉 ).

    I wish you the best and I hope that with time you’ll be allow to show to the public all the secrets that you are not allow to show yet.
    Dont let negative comments get to your head it is not worth it.
    Treat them with kindness even though they are not doing the same, give them time to grow up and focus in what you do best >>>> find the truth.

  2. Was just reading about a fish’s behaviour, and I read & realised, that fish is indeed a good way to symbolise Zayn.
    Fishes are emotional, but often, we don’t comprehend their emotions, simply because they aren’t like us & don’t express emotions like us.This stereotype also arises from the fact that fishes are cold-blooded,which makes many people (who don’t understand biology) think that they are actually,COLD blooded.
    Also, fishes are very creative & have a fascinating mind, because they’ve a lot of time, like Zayn.

    Also, his regularly open mouth makes him look like a fish 🤪

  3. I have a question so in harry styles adore you he says “I’d walk through fire for you
    Just let me adore you” do you think he’s taking about when zayn saved him from fire at one the one direction Concert?.

    1. ı dont think so. ıguess he is talking about the media,fans and results of opening or maybe reference to zayn’s flames son

  4. The fish video is still my all time fav of yours, even if the last few minutes make my eyes a little sweaty. H dancing with the fish and then cutting to him and Z dancing and the “to be fair I did once,” kill me every time. On a positive I love the song Brush Fire that you introduced us to.

  5. When Harry sings “walk in your rainbow paradise, strawberry lipstick state of mind” i think he was talking about his one direction days. Cause when one direction’s lipstick was launched Harry’s flavor was strawberry and Zayn’s flavor was watermelon. Harry said in an interview( tiny desk or Howard Stern) that both the songs are part of each other.

  6. “If he were my real life friend, I would have slapped him so hard by now”. I feel you girl. That boy is so devoted. I think he’s wonderful for it but it’s emotionally masochistic at the same time.

  7. Hey Girl, interesting few days. I think you summed it up nicely, we just don’t know. Harry has been eerily silent. Zayn has too until today. I’m happy about Zayn speaking his mind, but the timing is always suspect. That poem The Wait makes me 🥺🥺🥺🥺. It is so dreamy. Amazing thoughts.❤️

  8. The problem with the idealization or adoration of the couple is that people fall in love with the fantasy or desire that is desired of that person, they stay many years in the relationship waiting for the other to change, but what if it never changes? How long is H willing to wait and endure?

    1. That is the question… I don´t want H to suffer anymore. He deserves someone who is always there for him and is not afraid to show their love. I understood Z for a long time. But it´s enough now. And if Z doesn´t change something…then I hope H falls in love with someone else and forgets Z, even if that´s tough. But maybe he will never love anyone except Z. Damn, I Just want them to be happy together. It´s not just H who is in love with Z, Z is also in love with H. Be open about it!

  9. From the first time I came across your video on utube I have been hooked as a zarry,will always be.i really, really want them to find their way back to each other.but most importantly I just want harry to be happy I think he has been through too much heart 💔 breaks and it’s time for him to just move on.frankly I don’t see zayn coming out and it not fair to harry to just keep waiting,just hoping her has the courage to move on and his heart allow him to be happy.he seem to be such a humble soul and deserves nothing but happiness.love your work🇯🇲

  10. I still find it odd that they have both been MIA at the exact same time. Now Zayn is back on social media again & H is preparing for the Grammys. Olivia is in London yet no sightings of Harry, no pics of him with his mom so he didn’t go there with her at all. I think that H & Z met up when Z was in L.A. for his tattoos. I even think the tattoos was just a good cover and why Gigi was in overkill mode with all of the “old photos” of her and Zayn – especially on Valentines Day! He wasn’t even with her I don’t think. Not one single pic (current) of the 2 of them for weeks and then all of a sudden we get photos of Z in L.A. with his new ink. I don’t know but all of this silence is deafening!
    Wishful thinking? Most definitely, but my gut is telling me that something is going on & we may never find out what it is or we’re going to have to wait until someone comes out with new music. In the meantime I’ll be reading My Policeman and watching your aweaome videos!

    1. I agree with you on this 100%. I truly think Z n H might be together, even now (i also think they have met in LA around the time Z was there for his tattoos). Just if we don’t see smth on social media etc doesn’t mean nothing is happening behind the scenes. They easily might not be in each other’s PR agendas, but that doesn’t signify they can’t be romantically involved/having an unconventional relationship/being married etc.
      Also, these two always make some major hints with their music, mv, imagery, clothes, timing, locations, mutual friends, etc.. But I just can’t stop wondering what’s the purpose of those hints (sometimes blatantly obvious) if they/their teams are so keen on keeping it hidden?

  11. Ok. Speaking of the fish… I can’t get enough of that video of Harry comforting he once found a magical fish that can’t swim. He was 100% serious. Melts my heart.
    I believe it is sometimes hard to watch and see Harry waiting for Zayn bc we hear how devoted and in love with Zayn he is. But I don’t think Harry is waiting bc he’s delusional. I think he just hasn’t found anything better or even parallel. And I think Zayn has always loved Harry. Their love wasn’t planned. I don’t think love is where things are going wrong… it’s openly admitting that Zarry is real. Admitting Zayn and Harry were in a relationship in 1D. And all the covering up and hiding becomes almost public. That’s scary and maybe embarrassing. I am just saying, having to come out is incredibly difficult but imagine it in their situation. They do so much PR that they don’t even get a chance to come out to themselves. I just think that when ppl are always watching you, things become hard bc ur always trying to protect urself and what’s real. But it can also make finding ones true self hard bc ur always thinking ur being watched. Sry. Rambling. I believe they have always had a special connection. No matter the time, distance, or ppl. they will always have it. It’s special and I hope Zayn finds the strength he needs to really not give a s**t and run to Harry. And that Harry makes Zayn wait Lol 😂 just long enough to know that Harry is worth the wait too.

    1. IA with all of this. I absolutely believe that Zayn has always been in love with Harry. His songs about Harry (I won’t mind, Common, Tonight, Flight of the Stars, among others) are intensely romantic. “I’ll die if I don’t try”? Wow. I don’t know what’s happening, if anything, between them now, but IMHO they were each other’s true first loves. In my heart, I’ll always root for them to end up together.

  12. Hi AD. So as I was saying before I am a recent joinee of the Zarry world, nevertheless have turned into a true Zarryain now with your help ofcourse. You won’t believe this but I have been following your videos and documentaries for quite some time and truly appreciate all your hard work in the same. I have so much that I would like to discuss with a fellow Zarryian, but for now will just say that, regarding the WAIT, you said you wished Harry would move on and be happy again. I hope and pray for the same too, but deep inside I know he won’t settle for anyone else other than what his heart truly desires, wishes and needs. This comes from someone who has been waiting on love for the past 13 years of their lives and lived a living hell inside the battle your own heart and brain. You see I maybe totally wrong about this, but I feel Harry truly loved only once and when your heart knows it just knows. So even though you are portrayed or even feel stupid yourself for this wait you just cant gather any strength to be with someone who is not the one who you truly love. This moving on thing is just not programmed into some souls. They are in fact stuck on the same record forever, even though this maybe eating them from inside, killing them, ripping their soul apart or all of these together. I feel after all this long message I am still not able to exactly convey my feelings, thoughts and emotions about Zarry. But hopefully I will find the right words someday. Also AD speaking from my own experience I just want to say to you to take care of yourself and not be completely consumed by Zarry world. It is such a devastatingly beautiful world that we just can’t get enough of it. But I hope you really do take care of yourself. If you ever actually read this I would like to have a friend with whom I can share my Zarry thoughts and get insights on the same from them. Till then TPWK.

    1. Chinga, I was just about to comment the same about the waiting… You put it so perfectly and beautifully into words. <3 How irrational and unrealistic any hope of getting back together with the one you love but was separated from is, it is difficult (or maybe impossible, idk, I am still processing it…) to truly let go. All the reasons and logic in the world tells me we are better apart, and I keep telling myself this (heck, I'll tell it to everyone who asks!), but deep down, I don't know, I would probably blindly run back to him if I had the opportunity. But I do worry about H and Z situation, I don't know if Z will ever be in a place where he could give H what he needs.

      1. PPM thanks for your words of encouragement! Forever grateful. We as Zarryains can only wish, hope and pray that both H and Z can find true love and peace in their lives and finally be happy with a complete soul. For now both of them feel to have lost a part of their being which noone else but each of them would fulfill for each other. Also from a fellow broken hearted being I wish, you too find your love and peace and stay strong till it comes your way. Happy to be of any help and strength you need anytime.

    2. Please speak on Zayn’s Wattpad page and his tweet today concerning the Grammys. My thought is we all know how the Grammys work but him making that statement will be used like the live videos. He definitely was not smoking a cigarette and in the first one you could tell he was high. I think this outburst will not be good for him and may get him black balled by the industry. Also, folks are so supportive of Zayn but won’t even buy his music. Hypocrites.

  13. Hi AD. I am a recent joinee of the Zarry world. Nevertheless I can say I am a true Zarrian by now,

  14. The picture of Zayn with his hand on Gigi’s stomach looks photo shopped or staged. Especially their heads together does not look natural.

  15. I think we need to listen very carefully at Tayler Swift albums. Because I, and Just I, think that she is being written song about H. and Z. all this years. And let’s don’t forget that he did a video with her. Knowing how jealous they are for each other, I don’t see how Z. Did a video with H. Ex.

    I think that she and other H. Friends are helping them in secret.
    That’s way I hope that G. Had their baby. Crazy I know.
    I can believe that she had Z. Baby and in the next week she give birth of his daughter, he released a video to H. And his pic with his bb. Always have some connections with H. Some how.
    Again. It’s a crazy theory, but maybe is because I hope the best for them.

  16. Same…
    If I was a friend of Harry’s I would have told him to move on or atleast to take care of himself more..
    But I can feel Zayn too . He is not as open as harry and he is afraid.

    1. Included on Harry’s custom bode pants is artist David Hockney (from Bradford) who has a well known piece of work entitled “the boy hidden in a fish”!!!! Was that the inspiration behind the Adore You MV??

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