Gotta Be You

I know how they both feel and now all that’s left to do is to find out how I feel.

And right now, my heart is stuck in the middle of a tug-o-war. Niall pulling hard on one side and Harry pulling just as hard on the other.


34. Presteigne

Niall’s POV


My heart thumped against my chest as we passed by a road sign that said, “Welcome to Presteigne”. We were finally here.

It was a cozy little town, filled with little houses and shops. There were no tall buildings anywhere around and we passed by a couple of farms before we got to Presteigne.

We were 5 minutes away from Joe’s Café, the coffee shop that Isla was seen working. Soon, Harry was taking shorter turns as we maneuvered around the small town.

I was fidgeting my feet again and my heart was beating even faster. I was getting incredibly nervous.

I suddenly felt a hand being placed around my shoulder. I turned my face and set my eyes on Liam.

“It’ll be okay, Nialler,” he said, “we’ll all be here with you. And you have nothing to worry about, Isla will come home.”

I suddenly grew sad again as I recalled my conversation with Harry at the gas station. Another thought had been bothering me since then.

“But…if she wanted to come home, why didn’t she?” I said. I paused. “Maybe…maybe she’s happier here…”

I saw Liam, Louis and Zayn give me sympathetic looks.

“If she was happy then we would’ve heard from her,” Zayn said, “if she was happy, then that means that she’s moved on and she would’ve talked to us. But since she hasn’t, it means that she’s still affected from what happened and that means that she’s not happy. I think she’ll only be happy if she’s back home. Her real home. And we’ll all tell her how much we love her, how much we miss her and how sorry we are for what happened. Once she knows that we still care about her, she’ll definitely want to come home. She probably thinks that we don’t care about her anymore or that we’ve forgotten about her since we haven’t been able to find her. That may be why she hasn’t talked to any of us or why she hasn’t come home yet. She just needs to know that she still has people who care about her, who love her.”

We all gawked at Zayn with our mouths hung open.

Where the hell did that come from?

“Are you sure you’re not a girl?” Louis asked, furrowing his eyebrows.

Zayn laughed and shook his head. “I’ve just had a lot of time to think. And I just have a harder working brain that all of you…” he looked between all of us, “…combined.”

“Hm, and here we thought you were just sleeping the whole time,” Liam said, “it would’ve never crossed our minds that you would be…thinking.”

“Shut up,” Zayn said with a smile.

“We’re here,” Harry said.

My heart skipped a beat and I stopped breathing. I turned my attention to the outside of the car. We were parked on the side of the road in front of a shop that said, “Joe’s Café”.

We were here.

It took every ounce of my self-control not to just burst through those doors and scream for Isla but I had to calm myself down.

I took a deep breath. “Shall we go?”

“I guess this is it,” Harry said. He was the first to open the door and we all followed suit and got out of the car. We gathered on the sidewalk and glanced up at the sign.

Then Liam gave me a pat on the back, ushering me forward towards the door.

My feet felt like jelly. It felt like someone had taken control of my body and was forcing me to move. My heart was pounding in my chest, feeling like it was going to burst out any second.

Louis reached the door first and held the door open for us. I was the first one to step foot into the shop and I immediately scanned the entire room looking for Isla. I kept walking, my eyes now roaming the counter. I only saw another girl around the same age as us and an older woman behind the counter. Isla wasn’t there. My heart dropped. Were we in the wrong coffee shop? No, the girl told us this was where she saw Isla.

I walked right up to the counter and the older woman walked right up to us.

“What can I get for you, young lads?” she asked us, giving us a polite smile.

My mouth kept opening and closing, no words able to come out.

“We’re looking for Isla,” Liam said from beside me, “Isla Abbott. I think she works here.”

The woman gave us a confused look.

“I got this, mom.” The younger girl joined us. “Can you get the next customer?” Her mom just nodded at her and walked to the other till to take the other customers order.

I focused on the girl in front of us.

“You just missed her,” she said, “ she just finished her shift.”

I felt my heart drop into my gut.

“Do you know her phone number?” I asked.

She gave us a suspicious look. I wouldn’t blame her, it’s probably weird for her that five random guys are here at the shop asking for Isla and then her phone number.

“Unfortunately, I don't,” she said, “she says that she doesn’t have one but I swear I saw her using it a couple of times.”

“How is she, by the way?” I blurted. Those words escaped my mouth before I could stop them. All of them, including the girl stared at me.

“Um, she’s okay,” she explained, “like I said, she doesn’t really talked about herself. At all, actually.” She gave us a look that seemed like she was contemplating saying something. “Um…today she seemed off. She was zoning out a lot and her face would go blank for while. I mean, I asked her about it but she said it was nothing. I thought it was about--” She immediately closed her mouth and her eyes grew wide, looking nervous.

“About what?” Harry asked. I suddenly grew nervous.

What happened to Isla?

“Nothing,” she said, much too quickly for me to believe her, “she said she was just tired.” She avoided our gazes.

Hm, weird.

“I know that this may be an awkward question for you,” Harry said, “but we’re actually good friends with her, we promise but…um, do you know where she lives?”

“Yeah, I dropped her off a couple of times after work,” she said.

Excitement grew inside me when she told us she knew where she lived.

“But I can’t tell you,” she said nervously.

The smile on my face instantly disappeared.

“Why?” I asked, trying not to sound angry.

“She told me not to tell anyone, not even my own mom, she was even hesitant about me driving her home but she missed her bus and was worried about getting home on time, I don’t know why though,” she explained, “and I don’t feel completely comfortable telling people I’ve known for 5 minutes. Nothing against you.” She gave us a friendly smile.

What did she mean when she said that Isla was worried about getting home on time? On time for what? But my thoughts were interrupted when Liam spoke.

“No, no, we completely understand,” Liam said, “but, um, you don’t know us?”

I was surprised she didn’t know either. She looked between all of us and shook her head. “Sorry, no. Isla doesn’t really talk about her personal life so I wouldn’t know anyone she knows.”

Isla doesn’t talk about anything about herself? About us?

I suddenly became disappointed. How could we find Isla now? I looked at the other boys, seeing the same expression on their faces.

The girl must’ve noticed because she gave us a hint of hope.

“But I could ask her to come meet you somewhere,” she suggested.


We all jumped and turned our attention to the owner of the voice, Louis.

His face reddened with embarrassment.

“Can…can I talk to you lads for a second?” he said, walking a few steps away from the counter.

“We’ll be right back,” Zayn said to the girl. “What’s your name, by the way?”

She blushed and looked away. “Sophie.”

“Thank you, Sophie,” Zayn replied, “we’ll be right back.” He gave her a smile and she blushed even more while nodding.

We walked towards Louis but not before Liam hit Zayn in the back of the head.

“Don’t give her that smolder,” he scolded, “you might cause her to faint. She’s our only hope in finding Isla.”

“What are you talking about?” he said with a surprised look but then it turned into a smirk, “my smolder just comes naturally. And who knows, maybe she’ll be more willing to help us now.” We all rolled our eyes as his smirk grew and winked at us.

“Lads, pay attention,” Harry said. Liam and Zayn immediately stopped bickering.

“Okay, so the reason that I didn’t want that girl--”

“Sophie,” Zayn interrupted.

Louis gave him the snake eyes but quickly recovered with a shake of his head.

“The reason that I didn’t want Sophie,” Louis said, his eyes resting on Zayn, who nodded with another smirk on his face, “to tell Isla to meet us somewhere is that maybe…” Louis suddenly stopped talking and looking down at his feet. “She might not come.”

He was right. If Sophie told Isla that we were here and that we wanted to see her, Isla might refuse.

What were we supposed to do then?

“How about we surprise her?”

We all looked at Liam.

“You’re a genius, Liam!” Zayn said. “I guess my brain isn’t the only one working.” Liam laughed as me, Harry and Louis shouted, “Hey!”

As Liam and Zayn stopped laughing, Louis said, “so, what’s the plan?”

A few seconds later, Harry gave one really loud clap. “I have an idea.”

We all looked at Harry, waiting for him to explain but we never got one, as Harry turned around and headed for the counter. We all followed him and called for Sophie.

She gave us a questioning look before Harry spoke up with a huge grin.

“How would you like to do us a favour, Sophie?”




What do you think they're going to do for the surprise? Write your guesses in the comments!

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