Gotta Be You

Callie is a normal fifteen year old, who like many dream of meeting British/Irish boyband sensation One Direction. But when her clueless father and evil step-mother force her to come on a 'bonding' holiday in the sunny island of Fiji, Callie gets caught up in a whirlwind of excitement when she learns that the 5 members of 1D are staying in her resort. As she experiences romance, friendship, betrayal and facing the past, Callie learns that sometimes it doesn't just take One Thing to have the best summer ever, but maybe five...


17. Stand Up

"A ham and cheese sandwich, please"
Rhiannon took our order, somewhat more politely than usual.
"What bout you, Cal?"
I looked at the menu on the chalkboard behind the counter.
"I'll have the same, but toasted. Thanks"
She nodded and swiftly returned to the kitchen.
"I can't believe we've only a couple of days left"
"Don't say it like that! We need to do something fun, all of us..."
I nodded, although I had hoped I wouldn't be seeing Zayn, for like, ever. It was different to Harry, who I had no hesitation in yelling at. But Zayn... I couldn't really get over it all. Maybe he didn't like her, maybe it was all in the past... Somehow I expected the worst.
"I just had the most brilliant idea ever! We should all go kayaking tomorrow. Eric was telling me about this group going out, he said it was pretty small. We should sign up!"
"Niall, I can't walk a metre without falling over. Do you seriously think I can handle being on water in a shaking boat?"
"You  bungi-jumped of a cliff. I'd say you could give it a go"
After more persuading, I finally gave in. So we agreed to meet at the activities shack over by the hotel to gear up. We talked a bit more about Ireland and how his last tour went. It was so easy to talk to him.
"I always wanted to be a photographer" I explained, as we munched on our sandwiches. "My mother really encouraged creativity. She used to bring me to art shows and exhibitions every weekend, before she got ill. And obviously Dad is a photographer, but I don't think I'd do commercial stuff. I think I'd be more into the artsy side of it"
Niall nodded, crumbs flying everywhere.
"Is that what you want to do after your leaving cert?"
I shrugged.
"My teachers don't think it's a practical career option. I'm pretty good with French, my teacher was always trying to get me to commit to doing French teaching after leaving. I think I'd be bored to be honest"
"Do what you want, Callie. Hey, your pictures have already sold worldwide!"
I groaned at the memory of my precious photographs in all those sleazy magazines. We finished our food and Niall was about to get up to pay the bill.
"No, this one's on us" Rhiannon said quietly, laying my Nikon camera on the table. She left before we could thank her.
"That was random"
"Not really. She needed to do it"
He laughed at my coldness with her.
"See you tomorrow, babez"
"Don't do that"

* * *

"Welcome to the Los Paradise de Fiji kayaking course. You will all have partners, two to a kayak, and then we'll go out on the water"
Somehow, Niall had managed to get Liam, Louis, Harry and Zayn to come kayaking with us. All the boys were in wetsuits, wearing different patterned swim shorts over them. I was in also in a wetsuit, but mine looked nerdier without the trunks. A couple of other holiday-goers were here: a middle-aged couple who were apparently trying to rekindle some adventure into their lives, two young outdoorsy guys who chatted away in Spanish to each other, a family of five all with shocking red hair, and a fifty-something woman with grey hair and peacock feather earrings.
Eric blabbered on about safety precautions, how to steer, what to do if you die, blah, blah, blah... I waited until he was finished to tune back in.
"Okey-Dokey, you better pair up quick and we'll get out on the water as soon as possible"
Then something weird happened. At the exact moment that Zayn leaned in ever so slightly to me, Niall came over and stood beside us. Zayn looked at Niall, an expression of bemusement on his face. Niall smiled back, ignoring Zayn's silent claim to me. Liam and the other two glanced at each other.
"So, Lou, you ready to make kayaking think its a wussy sport?"
Louis nodded, relieved to out of this awkward partnering situation.
"You and me, Cal?" Niall asked, grinning.  It made perfect sense to him. He probably felt obliged to go with me, letting the others stay with each other. He didn't know about us. Zayn glanced at Niall, but didn't say anything. As usual.
Suddenly, I felt weary of Zayn. He never bothered to fight, never spoke out in front of anyone.
"Ya sure Niall, me and you"
Something flashed across Zayn's face, but soon his moody smoulder had returned. He turned to Liam.
But Liam was caught in an animated conversation with the two Spanish guys talking about some soccer match, and hadn't even noticed the awkward moment that just occurred. Eric came back from the storeroom looking deflated.
"Bad news guys. There's not enough kayaks for the whole group. Most are being repaired after a disastrous kids birthday party last week "

"So, what does that mean?" Niall asked.

"It means three people are going to have to stay back" Eric looked hopefully along the group for volunteers, but no one was willing to give up their spot. "That, or no one goes out"
There was a disappointed groan from the group, and a few muffled curses. I secretly breathed a sigh of relief. Even though I was a water babe back in Ireland, I wasn't completely comfortable on Fijian waters. I don't really think I'd be comfortable anywhere when Zayn Malik was watching... Why was it only when he was around that I look really, really stupid?

I looked across at the family of red-heads. They all looked so disappointed. The mother was trying to perk the kids up, but they just looked longingly at the kayaks left over.

"I've always wanted to go kayaking, ever since I was born" the boy mumbled, glaring at Eric, 'the bad man who destroyed his life-long dream'.

"Niall, we should volunteer to stay behind" I said, nodding towards the family. He looked as disappointed as the kids, which I felt bad about, but he smiled.

"Noble is my middle name" He then laughed. "Actually, its James"

I stopped smiling. James. James, the guy who was going out with my best friend, Em. Its like he didn't even care. Like he forgot me. Did I even mean anything to him any more? While I've been here, missing him like mad, he's been getting in on my best friend?

"Callie" Niall's voice snapped me out of my pity party. "Is that cool?" Eric and him were looking at me, waiting for an answer. He must have told him we'd stay back.

"Oh yeah. I don't mind"

"And you, will you join them?"

Eric was asking Zayn, the closest to the two of us. He didn't look too keen on the idea, but Eric was already pushing the three of us out to the front of the beach shack.

"Pull that one down to the shore and push off from their" He pointed at a long boat perched on the pavement. "Put on your life jackets too, in case one of you die" He gave a hearty chuckle, which I thought was deeply inappropriate, considering what he just said.

"Er, sorry? I thought we were staying behind"

"Callie, we just decided two minutes ago that we'd use the spare rowing boat. You, me and Zayn"

"When did we agree that?" I squeaked. A kayak was one thing, but a boat you had to control yourself? And with Zayn? Why, St. Bartholomew, why?

"She's just messing" Niall said to a confused Eric, who obviously thought this had already been confirmed.

So we walked down to the shore, Zayn and Niall dragging the boat behind them and me squashed in an unflattering sized life-jacket. Me and Zayn clambered in, leaving Niall to push us off. Niall just made it in before Zayn started rowing forcefully.

"Woah, Zayn. Thought you were trying to strand me there for a second!"
Zayn smiled, but said nothing. What did that mean? That he was genuinely messing? Or that he wanted to be alone with me? I glanced at him, but he was staring out at the sea in thought.

"I'll take over after Zayn, Cal. Hey, we should sing songs! And I brought some sea snacks"

He reached into his swimming trunks pocket and pulled out a packet of smoky bacon crisps.

"Yum, I love smoky bacon!"
So it wasn't exactly a luxurious yacht, but it was quite relaxing being out here in the peace of the sea. The boat was spacious enough, and gave us enough leg-room to be comfortable. I laid back against the edge of the boat and opened up the bag of Jelly Tots Niall brought. I offered one to Zayn, but he solemnly shook his head.

"Jesus, its just a jelly tot. I'm not asking you to marry me" I popped the rejected jelly tot into my mouth to make it shut up. Why oh why isn't there a filter between my brain and my vocal chords?

"What are you talking about?" Zayn asked, for once looking me straight in the eyes. 

I raised my eyebrows. Niall suddenly found the floor of the boat very intriguing.

"I'm talking about how you can't just say stuff, do stuff, feel stuff without masking it with that rock-hard smoulder you've mastered"

He looked taken aback.

"Why can't you just come out and say it? That you kissed Ellie, or Elinor, or whatever. You can't even say it to my face"

He looked angry now.

"You don't know what you're on about"

"Oh really?" Now I was angry. How could he sit there with no remorse at all? "So you didn't kiss your best friends girlfriend, consequently destroy their relationship, and basically end your band-mate's happiness?"

Niall was looking shocked now, but nothing compared to Zayn's amazement.

"Is that what she told you? That I kissed her?" Anger flared on his face again. It made me happy.

"Good!" I declared, standing up and going in closer to his face. "Its about time you felt something. I didn't even know your face was capable of expressing an emotion!"

I knew he was reaching boiling point, but I couldn't stop. After days of guessing at what he was thinking, feeling, I finally could see plainly what was going on. 

"Stop, Callie" Zayn growled.

"I know you're pissed with me. But I don't care. This is the first time you've been straight up with me. Why can't you look me in the eyes and tell me what's going on?" I was yelling now. God, I really had lost it. "Stand up, Zayn. Stand up!"

Zayn lept up and came in closer.

"You want to know what's going on? I caught Elinor with one of our guitarists, in Louis' frickin' dressing room. I told Louis, and he didn't believe me. But then our guitarist admitted what happened, and that's why Louis' in such a state. Because Elinor cheated on him, and not just once either. I don't know what story she spun out but that's what happened"

We stood there, glaring at each other.

"And me? What was all that crap about?"

He laughed in exasperation.

"Because I liked you! And I hadn't a clue how to deal with it! You're fifteen, one of 'Harry's girls'. What was I supposed to do?"

"Harry's girl?" I was about to lunge at him, but he anticipated the move. He quickly grabbed the undersides of the boat and rocked it threateningly. 

"I'm warning you, Callie"
"Go on" I dared him, my eyes flaring with anger. "Rock me!"

"That sounds kind of wrong, Cal..." Niall began, but was quickly cut off by Zayn sending us tumbling into the water. He completely overturned the boat and sent the three of us hurtling into the sea. I hit the water with a whoosh. I felt the luke-warm water rushing around me rapidly. Then I felt a hand grab hold of my arm and pull me up.

It was Zayn. He was looking at me, also drenched in water, his mess of brown hair matted to his head.

"Thanks, Callie"

"For what?" I breathed.

"Seeing behind the smoulder" And he leaned in and pressed his lips to mine. 




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