~Penny “She doesn’t do relationships.” I heard Zayn say before I closed the door behind me, letting the half-lit room engulf me. I slid down, sat on the floor and sighed heavily. It had been a long day. So long that I didn’t even bother standing up and walking to my bag, so instead I crawled over the carpeted floor and started rummaging through it. My handbag was a mess of tissues, cheap make-up, endless amounts of chewing gums, cigarette crumble and all sorts of needless things I, for some reason, felt like carrying around. I fished out an almost crushed pack of cigarettes, crawled to the window and finally I had to get up and open it up. I sat in the windowsill, tried to hold the cigarette out the window and looked down at the street, swarming with people. Zayn was right, though. I didn’t do relationships. Not because of any valid reason; I hadn’t had my heart broken, my parents never went through a nasty divorce, no dickhead had played my heart and messed me up. I just didn’t do relationships. Besides that I had never really been in love. Like most girls I had had a crush or two, but nothing serious, and I had been in quite a few relationships – even though the word “relationship” was kind of a far stretch, since most of them were short lived and based upon sex. I liked partying, boys, having fun and sex. Why complicate it by falling in love? “You can’t do that in here,” I heard a voice say followed by a thud, as the door closed. I fell down the windowsill and landed directly on my arse. It didn’t really hurt, but as I got up I told Zayn, who was having a great laugh: “What if I had fallen the other way? I could’ve died, you know...” “Blah blah, drama queen.” He said and rolled his eyes, still laughing quite a bit. “The window’s only cracked open a bit, and it opens inwards. Now put that thing out, will ya? The others will have a fit if they find out.” “Are they complete dickheads who don’t care for us smokers, or something?” I tossed the cigarette out the window and crawled underneath the duvet. “Something,” Zayn shrugged and lay down beside me. We both stripped down to our underwear and cuddled up together. “Mmmh, I’ve missed you, Penny Pops.” “I’ve missed you too, Zayni.” I giggled and buried my nose near his collarbone. “Please don’t call me that.” He said, but I could hear a vague laugh in his voice. “You know... Niall, right?” I nodded slightly. “I think he’s got the hots for you.” “We don’t know each other.” I yawned a bit. It was nearing 9am and I could feel my eyelids getting heavy. I really didn’t feel like talking love. “I’m not saying that he’s in love or something, you git.” He laughed. “I just think he wants you, but I would prefer it if you could just not handle it in your usual way.” “What do you mean?” I looked up at him, trying to give him an offended look. I’m not sure how well it worked, though. “My usual way, as if I have any. Pffft. Way to make me sound like a right slag, Malik.” “You know what I mean,” he said and ruffled my hair. “Don’t sleep with him. Or any of the other guys, for that matter. Please, Penny, I beg you.” I nodded and sighed happily, as I cuddled up closer to him. “Okay, sure... Just let me pass out now, yeah?” And a minute or two later I was fast asleep.
“Someone’s trying to get some, huh?” I heard Louis say as I walked into the living room. I had been staying with the guys for a week now, and we had been staying in all nights. Not exactly what I had in mind for my summer. So I had dressed up in my sexiest dress and some of my highest heels, and I intended to have the guys take me out. “Exactly, I’m trying to get some fun out of you muppets. Come on, we’re going out!” I said and pulled a bit on Zayn’s arm, as all the guys sighed. “No whining! Zayni, you promised me that we would party, like old times.” He sighed, not taking notice of the nickname. “Yeah, I guess I did.” “And you, Ireland!” I pointed at Niall, who looked up from the magazine he was flipping through. “You said we would get wasted, Irish style! Have you forgotten about that?” Niall broke into a wide grin and he said: “Of course not! Come on, lads; let’s show this lady how we do it here in London city!” “God, Niall, you’re such a dork sometimes.” Harry laughed and stood up. He stretched a bit and looked at me; I had already taken a particular liking to the curly haired boy. He was cheeky and funny, and he seemed to love alcohol and partying as much as I did. Plus, he was hot as hell. “But I’m not the one to say no to a party, so let’s go.” Soon enough we were all crammed into one taxi, driving through London. It was a beautiful summer night, and the city was filled with people, whether they were just enjoying the night or waiting in line at a club. I couldn’t help but smile at the whole situation; I was finally away from boring, old Bradford sitting in a cab with five superstars, who were all singing along to Ke$ha, taking swigs from the bottles they had brought from home. Someone passed me a beer and I had barely taken a sip, before Harry yelled out: “Oi! Taxi man, stop here!” We all stumbled out and I looked at the place we had stopped in front of; it was nothing like the dingy bars around Bradford. I downed the beer in my hand and took a look at the long line of people, waiting to get inside. “This has all been really neat up until now, but have you seen all those people?” I said and gestured towards the line. “We’re not getting in the next couple of hours.” “You’ve obviously underestimated the power of being famous.” Zayn laughed and put his arm around me. We walked up to the bouncer, who was a scary looking, tall and bald man, who took one quick look at us and opened the door. Once inside the club I looked at Zayn and said: “What the fuck was that? Not even a second glance. Impressive, I must say!” “Come on, you really didn’t think that he would let the boys of One Direction wait outside? Now, find us a place to sit, while Liam and I get the drinks.”
I managed to get pretty buzzed after an hour or so. Even with Zayn keeping an extra eye on me, the other guys kept making me do shots or getting me refills of diet Coke and rum. I know Zayn was just looking after me, but I was 18 and legally an adult. I could take care of myself. “So, Miss Penny Clarke,” said Harry and put an arm around my shoulders. His words were a bit slurred and he kept running his fingers through his curls, messing them up and making him look absolutely ridiculous. “What is it I’m hearing about you?” “I don’t know, Mr. Harry Styles, what is it?” I grinned and moved a bit closer to him. I know I had told Zayn that I wouldn’t sleep with any of the guys, but on a drunken night nothing could stop me. Besides, Zayn were busy eyeing up some blonde bird across the room. “You don’t do relationships. What’s that about?” Oh dear, here it goes again. “Well, I guess that’s all there is to it. I just don’t do relationships.” “And why is that?” “I don’t know. I guess I’ve never fallen in love. I mean, I’ve had crushes and I have been in relationships, but-“ “Aha!” Harry interrupted me in a triumphant voice. “So you do, do relationships... Aight?” He looked around at his drunken mates in search for some recognition. They all nodded, silently observing our conversation. “Will you let me finish?” I laughed. “God, you’re like a 5 year old!” “A sexy 5 year old.” Harry butted in again and I punched his shoulder, before continuing: “Well, what I was going to say is that all my relationships have been based off sex. These guys weren’t my boyfriends, they were more like...” I gestured loosely with my hand, the one that wasn’t buried in Harry’s curly hair at the back of his neck. “...more like fuck buddies, I guess. I like sex, I like boys-“ “And the occasional girl.” Zayn suddenly piped in, sucking on his straw. “Yes, but we don’t talk about that!” I narrowed my eyes at Zayn, but kept a slight smile on my lips. “I like sex, I like boys and I like having fun. I don’t see why I should ruin that by getting feelings for someone.” “So let me get this straight.” Harry said, suddenly sounding very interested. “You’re a girl, who’d rather just have mindless, casual, no-strings-attached sex than getting involved in a relationship?” “Pretty much.” I smiled and Harry wildly exclaimed: “I think I’m in love with you. You’re the girl of my dreams. Seriously, let’s get married and have babies, right now.” “Well, if I said yes to that I wouldn’t really be your dream girl, now wouldn’t I?” I smiled and ruffled up his curls a bit. Harry looked genuinely confused for a couple of moments, before he understood me. “And you’re smart too! What do I have to do to get you into bed?” We all laughed, and the other boys started discussing whether or not to invite a group of girls over to our booth. I looked at Harry and bit my lip, before I whispered into his ear: “When it’s you? Not that much.” He cocked and eyebrow and smiled. “Why haven’t I met you before?” He rested his hand on my thigh, and I wanted to say something witty and cute, but someone sat down beside me, screaming nonsense close to my ear. I turned around and saw that the other guys had, in fact, invited the group of girls over. The black haired girl next to me was a sloppy mess, spilling her drink all over the table and laughing in an exaggerated way. I wanted to ask Harry if he wanted to get out of there, but he already had his game face on. I stood up, heading for the bar, when he took my hand, pulled me onto his lap and whispered in my ear: “This isn’t over, Penny Clarke.”
After pushing through the crowded dance floor, I got up to the bar and yelled for a beer. I got it straight away, and immediately knew it was a good idea to wear a low cut dress. “How the fuck did you do that? I’ve been waiting for 15 minutes!” A familiar voice said to my left, and I looked to see Niall in the seat next to me. “They’re called boobs. And they’re fucking awesome.” I laughed and yelled for another beer, which I gave to Niall. “Can’t say I blame him. Cheers for boobs.” He grinned and lifted his bottle, before drinking. “What’s up, Ireland?” I said. “Not enjoying the female company?” “Ah no, I am. I’m just not into getting puked on.” “Someone got puked on?” I stretched my neck, to see if I could catch a glimpse of our friends, but Niall yanked me down. “Not yet, but believe me, it’s going to end like that. Those girls were drinking like mentals.” We both laughed and talked for a bit, until I said: “Whatcha say we kick this party up a notch, hmmm?” “And how do we do that, may I ask?” Niall asked and raised his eyebrows. It was a mystery to me how he could be drunk and eloquent at the same time. “Just come with me.” I took his hand and dragged him through the crowd, and into the ladies room. For such a nice place you would really think that the bathrooms were cleaner, but it was grimy and nasty. “Are you going to have your way with me in a stall, because really... I wouldn’t mind, babe.” “Sweet talk ain’t working on me.” I cringed at him. “Fucking get into the stall before someone sees you!” Niall went into a stall and a minute later I joined him. He looked up at me, from the toilet seat, and said: “So? Are we going to shag or what?” “No, you dimwit. Tadaa!” I answered and presented him with a newly rolled, quite small spliff. “How the fuck are you and Zayn friends?” He laughed and took the spliff, gesturing for me to give him a lighter. “He’s such a good boy, and you are... Well, nothing like him. This is a beauty, by the way.” “Oh man, Zayn used to be so much fun!” I sighed and lit the spliff. Niall took a drag and patted at his lap, for me to sit. As I sat down I continued talking: “We would sit in his backyard and look at the stars and get absolutely smashed on cheap booze! Those were the fucking days, I tell you.” Niall blew the smoke in my face and coughed a bit. “Amateur.” I took the spliff and took a long drag, feeling the smoke hit my lungs and letting it creep out of my nose. “Wow. Can I tell you something without freaking you out?” Niall said, after looking at me for a while. “What? Do I have something in my face?” I asked and tried to get up, but ended up stumbling around and falling out of the stall. We both started laughing and soon Niall fell to the floor too. We were both laughing too much to get up, with tears in our eyes and dirt on our clothes. Finally we both got up, and I let Niall have the last drag of the spliff, before I looked into the mirror and concluded that I was a hot mess; my make-up was smeared, my hair was messy and sticking out and my eyes were red and watery. “What did you want to tell me?” I turned around and looked at Niall, who was standing right behind me. He fiddled with a lock of my hair, tucked it behind my one ear and looked me in the eyes. “You’re absolutely beautiful like this.”