HIIIIIII so this is kind of an ending? Say wuuutt?? But there will be an epilogue, don’t worry! I have a 1D blog, make sure to follow, in case I decide to write anything after this, it’s lunagoes1d.tumblr.com! And make sure to tell me what you think, I’m dying to know! Previous chapters are here; thanks for sticking with this story, you have no idea how happy I am that you found it interesting :)))) Love you all so much! Natalia xxxxxxx
My bare feet carelessly padded down the empty streets as I tried to remember the exact point in my life when I had turned this stupid and gullible. Possible pieces of glass or other sharp objects lying on the street were not my biggest problem at the moment. It wasn’t Niall, either. It was my own stupidity.
This had never happened before. I never waited for anybody. I was either with the person or I wasn’t, there was no middle ground. I had never cheated and, as far as I knew, I had never been cheated on.
And then Niall walked into the library that morning and everything turned upside down.
I didn’t know which was worse out of the two possibilities: if I had turned stupid because of him, and only when it came to him, or if he was just the first who noticed that stupidity and used it to his advantage. Either way, I was stupid and I didn’t appreciate it too much.
Stupid, stupid, stupid, I repeated with each step I took. I couldn’t think of anything else, nor did I think it would’ve helped – I would’ve probably just found even more evidence that this thing between me and him was doomed from the very beginning. That I’d been blind and naïve and all those other clichés that I had always scoffed at in the movies.
I could hear the city starting to wake up; a few cars went by me along with a pedestrian or two, probably giving me curious glances, but I didn’t bother looking back. It wasn’t until I heard a car slowing down as it approached me that I raised my eyes from my red toenails, fear building inside of my stomach as the worst possible scenarios ran through my head. But nothing prepared me for the sight in front of me.
Niall’s head popped out of the window of his big black car as he matched the speed of the car with the speed of my walking. I quickly looked away and kept my eyes in front of me as I walked, refusing to acknowledge his existence, although I felt his steady gaze on me; it was a miracle how he hadn’t already bumped into something.
“Y/N” Niall called. I sped up. So did he.
Left, right, left, right, I concentrated on the rhythm of my feet, giving Niall the silent treatment. I heard him sigh. “Let me drive you home, come on. Just that. It’s five in the morning and it’s cold outside and you’re barefoot” he reasoned, and deep inside I knew he was right; but I wasn’t getting into that car, even if I risked a chance of getting a fever. Nope. No way Jose.
“Stop being so stubborn” he groaned, getting irritated and I felt some kind of sadistic pleasure out of it. It was nothing in comparison of what I had felt earlier that morning, but I would settle for any kind of repayment at the moment.
“Please, get in the car” he tried again. Still, nothing. I kept walking, ignoring him. “Y/N.”
Persistent little fucker. How I managed not to look his way yet, I had no idea.
“You know what? Fuck this shit” I heard him mutter, and I thought he’d finally leave me alone and drive away, when suddenly I couldn’t hear the engine, but instead, I heard the sound of the car door opening and slamming closed. A moment later, I felt his hand around my wrist, tugging and not letting me walk away. I turned around, looked at our hands, then at him. His lips were in a tight line and his brows furrowed as he looked at me with such intensity that I had an urge to step away.
“What are you doing?” I asked slowly, my voice quiet and warning.
Niall cocked an eyebrow in bitter amusement. “Oh you do speak then?” he asked, his grip only tighter when I tried to yank my hand away.
“Leave me alone” I spat, furious and uncomfortable and in lack of any good insults.
He just shook his head. “Sorry, not this time.” He kept his gaze on me, his stern expression not faltering for a second. I could feel my heart beating louder.
“Niall. Let me go.”
“Let. Me. Go.”
He pretended to think about it. “Mmm… nope” he shook his head and I decided I’d had enough. I couldn’t hold it in any longer.
I glared at him. “What the fuck do you want from me? I can’t believe you have the nerve to show up here and bother me after all that!” I spat, getting into his face and waving my free hand.
He kept his both cool and furious expression as he told me, “I’m not trying to bother you, I just wanted to drive you home and talk to you, but you are stubborn as a fucking donkey or something and I’m sorry but I’m not leaving until we talk.” And he looked like he meant it. Like he would stand there until the next morning and just look at me with those piercing blue eyes until I crumbled and let him do whatever he wanted.
“You’ve said enough” I said, pursing my lips and looking away from him.
“No I haven’t. I haven’t even started yet. You wanted to hear about what happened. Now listen” he said, tugging my wrist so I would look at him. I didn’t.
“Talk all you want, it won’t matter anyway.”
Apparently, that hit the nerve, because Niall tugged on my wrist, making me walk a few feet over to his car and press my back flat against the side of it. He pointed a finger at me, his eyes in narrow slits. “That! You see, that’s the exact reason why I had let that girl kiss me and drag me outside!” My stomach dropped at his words; the mere thought of him with someone else pained me more than I was willing to admit.
“Ugh, I’m going to be sick” I said, laughing bitterly so I wouldn’t have started crying.
“You say the meanest things” he lowered his voice, his body very, very close to mine, but still not touching. “You know exactly where to hit to make me feel like shit. To make me start doubting every single fucking thing.” He pronounced each word slowly, deliberately, showing me for once the effect I had on him. Then his eyes softened and his lips were just slightly apart as he searched my eyes for something. He suddenly seemed tired. “We are fucked up. We had an awful start. I had always been fooling around before, never took any girl seriously, and once, once when I really wanted to try, you said we weren’t meant to be. And I knew it was bullshit and I knew you were just scared but it hurt, okay? It’s been a while since I cared about someone and I thought, maybe she was right. She probably knows better, you know?”
“And those games we were playing, of who’d hurt the other more and who’d care less – I have never, ever done that before. I never needed to. Everything that happened to me was and is easy in comparison to you” he said, a wild look in his eyes. Until the very moment, I just listened. He never spoke about this, and it was both terrifying and rather interesting to find out his opinion on us. But his words struck a nerve.
“Well, you’re not the easiest thing that ever happened to me either, okay? That’s why I told you it wasn’t gonna work. Those things are meant to be easy and simple and not like this. I’m not the kind of person to be looking for trouble, I don’t need it in my life” I said. It was true. There were girls who liked to have fun and fool around, there were girls who wanted a normal relationship, and there were girls who wanted a fucking soap opera for a love life. I was not one of them.
“Oh now I’m trouble?” Niall stepped away, insulted.
I looked at him, incredulous. “Haven’t you just kind of said the same thing about me a minute ago?”
“No, because you didn’t let me finish” he shot back immediately and clenched his jaw in frustration, “What I wanted to say was – how would you know what love should feel like?”
I rolled my eyes. “Niall, come on -” I started, but he shut me up by gripping my hip into his big, warm, well known hand and bumping it into the metal behind me. I was making him mad, and he just wanted me to see what he’d meant.
“No, listen, damn it! In the end, it all comes down to one thing. One simple question” he said, his eyes pinning me in place. He still held my wrist.
After a long pause, I gulped and asked, “Which one?”
He bit his lip so hard it turned white before he spoke quietly, his voice raspy and low. “What hurts more, being with or without you?”
I wondered if he could feel my pulse that decided to sky rocket at his words, but I did my best to remain calm and collected. “And you chose…?” I asked when he didn’t give the answer to his own question.
“Like you don’t know” he huffed out a laugh. It sounded kind of sad, though. “Why would I be standing here with you, in the middle of the street at the break of dawn, if I didn’t think I wanted this? If I didn’t think I needed you?” with every word, his voice became quieter and his face got closer to mine. If I just leaned in, just a bit, I would be kissing him and I would forget everything.
But I couldn’t keep on forgetting anymore.
“Then why, why, why did you have to fuck it up, not once, but twice?”
He sighed. “I don’t know, alright? It seemed like a logical thing to do since you ended whatever it was we had. I was on tour, I was supposed to be having the fucking time of my life and I couldn’t because I kept thinking about what you’d said and then I decided I had enough and, I just - I just let go, I don’t know” he said, shrugging his shoulder, “And let’s be fair here, it had been fucked up way before I fucked it up.” His eyes pleaded me to agree with him, to tell him it wasn’t all his fault. And it wasn’t.
“And that’s the problem” I whispered, gently pushing him away, all the fury gone from my body. He didn’t fight me this time, and I was grateful for that; he let go of my wrist and stepped away, looking at me with his big, round, sad eyes. “Look, I need to think this through. How about we meet up and talk in a week or two, maybe?” I said, although I wasn’t sure if a whole year was enough time for me to think it through, let alone a week.
He just stood there with his hands on his hips, nibbling the inside of his cheek and staring at the ground. “Yeah, okay” he muttered, before glancing my way, “Just let me drop you off, I need to know you got home safely.” My heart twisted at his words, and I wished we could just go back to his bed and get lost in each other and just forget everything else but us, and the way we felt when we were together, but I just nodded and walked over to the other side of the car and climbed in.
It took him less than two minutes to get to mine, but it seemed like forever. The whole ride, Niall kept his eyes on the road and I kept mine on him, worried by the way he looked; I had never seen him look this tired and sad and hurt, and damn it, it was my fault. I knew he knew I was watching him, but he chose to ignore me, and that worried me, too.
“Here we are.” Niall’s voice was monotone and raspy, his eyes still set on something in front of him, anything but me. I silently nodded, biting my lip to prevent myself from saying something, and got out of the car, not trusting myself enough to even say bye.
The next few days went both painfully slowly and incredibly fast: fast because I was still nowhere near the solution for our problem, and slow because every second without him was a second too long. All I did that couple of days was tossing and turning in my bed, thinking and rethinking and overthinking.
I’d even tried to make a list of pros and cons of being with him, but I stopped midway through when I realized how silly it was, trying to put on paper everything I felt for him, when words weren’t even close enough to explaining it all.
I was in my bed, intending to watch the whole second season of New Girl in one sitting, when my phone started ringing. I sighed heavily before I pressed the green button. “What?”
“Do you know what day it is?” Maddie asked.
“Uhm.” I honestly had a hard time remembering. How many days went since Niall came back? One, two, three…
“That’s right. You’ve been hiding in that cave of yours for so long you don’t even know. It is Friday, just so you know. Which means we’re going out.” Maddie informed me, and I remembered Niall’s invitation.
“At Dylan’s?” I asked, hopeful. I missed him. I wanted to see him. No, I didn’t know what to do with the thing. I just wanted to see him.
“No, of course not! You’re gonna forget about him, at least for tonight, and you’ll have the time of your life. So be at mine in an hour; sooner if you want me to do your hair, k? K. Byeee!” She hung up so quickly I couldn’t even say bye back.
Well, getting drunk would certainly keep me occupied, so, why not?
Why not? Maybe because we were at a club with music blasting so loud I felt it in my chest, and not in the pleasant way. Maybe because I could breathe from how crowded it was, with people I didn’t know. Maybe because there was a guy dancing next to me, a drunken smile on his lips as he eyed me hungrily. It was boiling hot in there, but I shivered with disgust. I hadn’t even touched my drink.
Maddie was busy turning down the guy who was hitting on her at the moment, so I couldn’t send her the ‘this night is so not what you promised it would be’ look, but that’s what I was thinking. She also promised I’d forget about Niall for the evening – didn’t happen, either.
When the guy started being a little too persistent with her, I stepped in, grabbing her hand and dragging her outside. The fresh air felt wonderful, and I took a deep breath before I turned to Maddie. ”We’re going to Dylan’s” I informed her, stepping on the curb and waving my hand to hail a cab.
“What? Why?” Maddie asked, confused.
“Because I want to see him” I replied simply, not looking at her.
Maddie appeared in front of me, her eyes wide. “Does that mean you decided to be with him, for real?” she asked, excited.
I shook my head. “No, I still haven’t decided.”
“You’ll get his hopes up for nothing.” She warned me just as a taxi pulled over. I opened the door and then turned to her.
“He doesn’t have to know I’m there.”
When we got inside the Dylan’s shack, the boys were already playing. The pub was crowded so much it was difficult to walk over to the bar, but we managed somehow. I made sure I stood in the shadows as I watched them finish the song they were playing and listened to the loud cheers of the people in the pub.
They were getting bigger and bigger, but it showed that they felt best when performing in their hometown. I watched Niall, analyzing every facial expression in hopes to see what was going on in his head. Was he still waiting for my call? Or was he moving on? His smile made me both happy and sad, because the part of me wanted to see the sadness on his face, evidence that he was still not over me, but the bigger part was just happy that he was happy.
When the loud cheers subsided, he stepped forward to his mic, a grin plastered to his face when he got a few more cheers.
“The next thing we’re gonna sing is a cover of a really great song that has a special meaning to me…” he started, and my ears perked up at his words. He continued with a small smile, “I once promised someone to dedicate a song to them, and although every song I’ve played was dedicated to that special someone in my head, this one’s officially for you. I don’t know if you’re here, but if you are - you know who you are. Yeah, this is Only One by Yellowcard.”
I listened to the first few accords of the song with my mouth agape, not able to move or say a word. I felt Maddie’s hand gripping mine, but I couldn’t react. I focused on the well known lyrics Harry was singing; it was surreal how different they sounded now.
Broken this fragile thing now
And I can’t, I can’t pick up the pieces
And I’ve thrown my words all around
But I can’t, I can’t give you a reason
I feel so broken up (so broken up)
And I give up (I give up)
I just want to tell you so you know
Niall was singing the backup voices, but he mouthed every lyric. I forgot how to breathe. All I could do was to listen to the song and grip the bar counter for dear life when they all joined to sing the chorus.
Here I go
Scream my lungs out and try to get to you
You are my only one
I let go
There’s just no one that gets me like you do
You are my only,
My only one
Made my mistakes, let you down
And I can’t, I can’t hold on for too long
Ran my whole life in the ground
And I can’t, I can’t get up when you’re gone
And something’s breaking up (breaking up)
I feel like giving up (like giving up)
I won’t walk out until you know
Here I go
Scream my lungs out and try to get to you
You are my only one
I let go
There’s just no one that gets me like you do
You are my only
My only one
I couldn’t believe how every single word felt like written for us, and to only think he was singing it to me made me want to cry. But when the slower part came along, and Niall stepped forward to sing it with his eyes closed, a pained expression on his face, I was done with holding back.
Here I go
Leave a note
For you my only one
And I know
You can see right through me
So let me go
And you will find someone
His voice shook just barely at the end as he turned his head to the floor. I didn’t hear the rest of the song. I didn’t hear anything but the sound of my own blood rushing in my ears. I elbowed my way through people until I was standing by the side of the small stage, my eyes burning into the side of Niall’s head, but he couldn’t see me. Zayn could, though, as he stepped towards Niall and gently tapped his shoulder, pointing in my direction. Niall’s head turned, and he messed up the last note when he noticed me there, before throwing the guitar strap off his shoulder and placing the guitar on the floor. He dragged his feet across the stage slowly, almost fearfully, jumping off the stage and standing right in front of me.
I could feel my lips trebling but I had no idea I was crying until he reached out his hand and wiped a tear from my burning cheek. I stood still, trying to swallow the lump that formed in my throat as he looked at me so tenderly I wanted to burst with emotions. His own eyes were wide and glossy. He wasn’t crying, he couldn’t let himself cry in front of anyone, but this was more than enough. The feeling that blossomed inside my chest when it came to me that he actually, actually dedicated a song to me, and how sincere he sounded about it, was overwhelming.
I gripped the sides of his shirt as I stepped closer, my eyes never leaving his as I told him the ultimate truth. The answer to his simple question – what hurt more?
“Don’t ever, ever, ever, ever let go. Because I’m sure not planning to.”
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