That one word made me flinch and take a step back while hugging myself tighter around my torso. How DARE he use my old nickname like nothing had happened.
“My name is Scar.” I said to the group out loud my face emotionless and my tone sharp.
He no longer had a smile on his face and he looked panicked. Good.
“Red… i-is that you?” He asked sounding doubtful yet at the same time…. Hopeful? No it was probably disgust.
“Who’s Red?” Asked Ella, looking from me to Louis.
“Not me.” I said in a monotone causing my friends to give me weird looks.
“I know that. You’re one of my best friends. I think I’d know that your name isn’t Red, Scar,” Said Ells sarcastically.
“Your real name isn’t Red. You’re real name is Scarlet Archer.” Said Louis sounding more confident. As soon as he said this my friends all looked at me as if asking for an explanation. All except Luce who knew exactly what was going on. She gave the others a ‘later’ look which they nodded at ever so slightly. They boys on the other hand were looking from one person to the other.
Well, all except Harry it seemed. He was looking at me with such hatred it was clear he knew something.
“No need to look at me like that Styles.” I said looking out into the sunset, wishing I could just go home. “You don’t know the whole story.”
“I know enough to know what you did was wrong.” The nerve of him. I felt my blood begin to boil in anger.
I turned back to the group, letting the full extent of my anger show in my eyes. They all took a step back and Harry’s adamant look began to falter as he began to doubt himself. “How could YOU possibly know enough, when not even HE does?” I said jabbing my finger in Louis' direction. “Whatever bullshit story he told you forget it cause it’s a lie…. Actually what exactly did he tell you? I would like to see what kind of heartless bitch he put me out to be.” I said leaning back the sunset forgotten.
Louis and Harry shared a look before Harry said “He told me that you two were the best of friends and that one day something bad happened and that you just up and left.”
“Wow. What he told you is NOTHING close to what happened. The word ‘bad’ is the understatement of the century.” I told him bringing up the wall I had built around myself to keep everyone out. I could tell that they noticed this by the way their eyes all widened slightly. They all looked slightly defensive as well and as I met their eyes they all looked to the ground. I didn’t even bother to spare Louis a glance. Well almost all of them looked down. Zayn simply smiled at me. Not a sympathetic or pitiful smile. It was an ‘I may not understand, but that doesn’t mean I’ll judge you’ type smile. I couldn’t help but smile back. It was a small smile but it was genuine. Just then the cabin made its way down to the group once more and I couldn’t help but let out a sign of relief and whisper ‘finally.’
No one else had noticed Zayn and I’s silent little conversation and that was fine by me.
Within a few minutes we were down on the ground and I rushed out of the tension filled cabin, into the open London air, as soon as the doors were open. I was closely followed by my friends and we all pulled our hood up once more, making our way down the street back to our hotel. We didn’t even spare the boys a glance as we left. I could tell my friends had pieced the story together and they looked slightly pissed.
Before we got too far down the street though, we heard the sound of feet pounding against the pavement and some people breathing hard as they tried to catch up. We knew immediately who they were and tried to speed up, but it was no use. They were pretty fast.
“Ho-hold up.” Puffed Harry bent double from chasing us. “I know we didn’t really get off on the right foot,” he said addressing me directly, “and I don’t know what your past with Lou is,” he continued making me flinch, “but what I do know is that he is constantly talking about ‘this amazing girl’ he used to know when he was younger and things got messed up causing her to leave. I assume now that he was talking about you… before you protest that it’s not you he’s talking about, it is. I know he’s talking about you because he always tells us the same story when he’s drunk. The story about how you two went out to a beach one day with your families and how happy you looked searching for shells on the beach with him and how when you went home you cleaned up all the shells to make him a photo frame with a picture of the both of you. He told us that you gave this to him on his birthday and how he made you a necklace made out of one of the shells that you had found and given it to you with the inscription ‘forever and always’ referring to your friendship.” He said all this in a single breath and each word felt like a stab in the heart to me. It was too much to handle.
“I-I can’t. Please stop.” I begged him, he looked at me them slightly angry.
“Are you just going to throw away your friendship with him for something that happened ages ago?” Harry said angrily.
“You don’t know the half of it Harry.” I was too emotionally drained to argue with him, “What happened with me and Lou almost 6 years ago wasn’t just an argument. It was something much bigger. A lot of things happened and I was hurt a lot. More than anyone can possibly know. Not even my family. He’s the reason we upped and left England.” I said admitting a lot more than I should have.
Harry just looked defeated and sad.
“Look, like I told you, I don’t know what happened. But I do know that he misses you more than YOU’LL ever know. He has that picture of you two up on his bedside table. I know that the world thinks it’s a picture of me and him, but it’s not. It’s the frame you gave him and he takes it everywhere with him. He says it’s what keeps him down to earth and reminds him that nothing in the world is perfect…”
I was shocked. I thought he would have thrown it out the moment I left. He probably kept it as a reminder of how silly he was back then compared to now.
“Is he talking about that necklace you keep in a box, Scar?” asked Soph, speaking up.
“I take that to mean that you are in fact the girl I’m talking about?” said Harry sounding quite tired.
I just nodded my head, still shocked that Louis had the frame and that he even remembered that day at all. It was one of my better memories I had of my life before Australia. It was one of the happiest days of my life to be completely honest.
“And if you still have the necklace, then there are unresolved feelings there,” he continued. “And look Scarlet, maybe it is best if you and Louis did sort everything out. Not just for the both of you, but for us as well. He’s always moody whenever he gets home or remembers something about his past. It’s kind of hard to live with. I’m sure it’s the same with your friends,” he said at which they all nodded. I knew I was a downer sometimes… maybe Harry was right. “Besides,” he continued, “from all the stories we’ve heard about you when Lou is drunk, (he doesn’t talk much about you otherwise) you seem like a great person to be friends with. And I know for a fact that Niall and Liam have taken a liking to your friends already. Just think about it ok?” he said sounding like he was genuinely worried for his friend.
I wasn’t ready to face Louis though. Even though it had been almost 6 years, I wasn’t mentally prepared to face him and my past. But maybe I could befriend these boys and slowly, slowly I could open up again and move on from my hell of a childhood.
Besides, I knew Soph, Ells and Luce were huge fans of the boys, why should my past get in the way of a possible friendship between them and some of their musical idols.
I could tell they knew what I was thinking as small smiles appeared on their faces, even though they looked worried for me; they couldn’t help but feel happy at the prospect of seeing the boys again.
“I’ll think about it, I guess” I told Harry still not sure how good of an idea this was. He just smiled a small smile. “How do I get in contact with you guys if I do change my mind?” I asked him.
“Well, I guess you can come to our hotel…” He said writing it down on a piece of paper Sophie handed to him with a pen. “We’re on the second highest floor, the king suite. We’re all staying together so you’ll be able to find us all pretty easily. I’ll let reception know to look out for you girls.” He finished writing all the details down on the paper and handed it to Soph, who just looked at it in disbelief.
“What’s the matter?” I asked while the others all laughed. Sophie handed me the paper and my eyes basically bugged out of my head.
“You’ve got to be kidding me…” I sighed. It seemed like there was no way of avoiding these boys whether I wanted to or not.
“What? What’s wrong?” Harry asked still out of the loop.
“We’re all staying in the same hotel. We have the suite above yours.” I said, “it seems like I’ll be seeing you boys whether I like it or not…” He just grinned in return and started to walk off.
“I have to get back and let the boys know. We’re all going out to dinner now, so we’ll probably see you ladies later. Bye!” He said grinning at Ells.
“This is going to be an interesting vacation…” Said Luce…
“Understatement of the century” I replied as we all made our way back to the hotel.