“Look guys, I’d really rather not talk about it.” I said gathering up more dishes, before Niall grabbed my arm exactly where Louis had. I looked at him curiously, slightly uncomfortable under his touch.
“We can get the dishes.” He said, earning him four astonished looks from his band mates.
“No, it’s fine. I have it. I’m used to doing the dishes anyway, it’ not really a problem.” I said trying to divert the conversation. It didn’t seem to be much use though as they all just kept staring at me.
“Was that why you always wore long sleeved shirts that were always a size too big?” Louis asked from where he was seated still looking slightly shocked. And then after a minute he choked out, “And that time you confronted me about my behaviour, you were so careful to keep your hands hidden. And not just then, but every time you’d talk to someone, or someone would talk to you, you always kept your wrists facing away from people. Hidden.” He finished looked stricken and slightly horrified.
It was now my turn for my eyes to widen, I had always thought I had covered everything up so well. How had he noticed all that? No one had paid any attention to my behaviour so why had he? It was all so confusing.
“When did it start?” Asked Harry bluntly, earning him a slap across the head from a glaring Ells. Harry just shrugged at her getting another glare out of her.
I sighed and sat down on a couch, waiting for the others to join me. They weren’t going to let it go anytime soon, so I may as well get it all out now.
“It started when I was almost 12. A little while after Louis stopped talking to me. I guess it was kind of the catalyst for everything. Once he stopped talking to me, I didn’t really have anything to look forward to at school or after it. Rebecca continued her relentless bullying,” at this Louis made a choking sound from where he was sat, looking surprised at the fact that Rebecca had continued to bully me, and then after a while, he looked slightly pissed. While Louis sat there having a little internal battle, the boys all looked at me confused until Zayn pointed out they didn’t know who Rebecca was.
“Rebecca was the girl who had been bullying her since she was a kid,” Zayn said, and the boys all looked at him surprised that he knew this, but he just shrugged. “What did you guys think we did last night? The dirty deed?” He said grinning at the boys and giving me a wink.
I just threw a cushion at him blushing like crazy, and it hit him right in the head. Score for me. I had a great aim. While he rubbed his head, I stuck my tongue out at him, that cushion wasn’t very soft.
“Anyway, before Zayn ever so rudely interrupted me with his irrelevant comment,” I continued where I had left off, until Zayn interrupted me again.
“Don’t act like you don’t want any of thisssssss,” He said extending the ‘s’ while he stood up and did some weird dance move where he looked like he was having a seizure of some sort, as he ran his hand up and down his body.
If I was being completely honest, Zayn's actions had left me feeling a little more relaxed while telling my story. I had always thought Louis had been funny when we were younger, and then I met Ells and thought that no one could ever make me laugh as much as those two, but here I was, laughing my ass off at the incessant actions of none other than Zayn Malik.
“Well, if Mr Malik is now done with his weirdness, I would like to continue.” I said as Zayn sat down winking at me and zipping his lips, pretending to throw away the key. “Well, after all that had happened, there was only one way for me to release my emotions, and so I ended up self-harming. My parents found out, and they got me to basically spill everything that had happened between me and Louis and, well, everyone else. It was then that they decided to relocate us. I didn’t really have a choice in the matter, and to be honest, I wasn’t in the right mind set to actually have a say. I didn’t talk to anyone for weeks after they found out everything that went on in my life in Doncaster…. And now that I think about it, I really should apologise to your mum Lou… we left without saying anything and my parents never really speak to anyone when they come down here…” I said trying to change the subject. “You guys still live in the same house?” I asked he just nodded to me stiffly looking like he wanted to do something pretty stupid.
I sighed for what felt like the fiftieth time this morning and stood up. I was feeling pretty sick after telling that story, it bought up too many bad memories for me to actually handle. I walked over to the piano and ran my hands over the keys, just as my phone rang. I checked the caller ID and grinned. It was my parents. I answered telling the others I’d be in my room and that they should fill the other boys in on what I had told them last night.
They looked at me like I had grown a third head. I just shrugged and told them we’d probably be seeing a lot of them on our vacation so they may as well know. I just didn’t want to be the one to repeat it to them, because telling it once had been bad enough, telling it twice might just push me over the edge.
I left them in the room and went to talk to my mum.
An hour later, I hung up on my mum telling her everything that had happened. Including Louis. She had told me basically the same thing Harry had said, that maybe it was best that I smooth things over with him. I had rolled my eyes at her, I knew she missed Jay and wanted to talk to her again. She hoped that if Louis and I sorted things out, then she could finally talk to her best friend again and I would mine. The reason they had stopped talking in the first place was because of me and Louis. I also knew that she had high hopes that despite what had happened with me and Louis, we would be friends again.
My father on the other hand had taken a lot of convincing to let me stay in England. He wasn’t happy that I had run into, and was now living in, the same hotel as, Louis Tomlinson. After a little bickering, he agreed threatening to destroy his manhood if he, and I quote ‘hurt his baby girl again’. I knew my dad was protective and even more so now that I was off to university soon.
When I walked into the lounge, my friends were all glaring at Louis like he was a bug waiting to be squished, while he just stared at the table, frowning and looked to be on the verge of tears.
I looked around the room curiously, as everyone finally noticed my presence. And when it came to Louis' he immediately jumped up and ran over to me, “I’m so so so so so so sorry, Red!” this time the use of the nickname didn’t make me flinch though, I had missed it.
I just stared at him as realisation hit. He had heard the story too, of course. I was so silly not to have realised it earlier.
I stood there still looking at the now grown up boy in front of me. The boy whom I had thought would never leave me, would always be there for me when I had needed him. But he wasn’t there, and now I didn’t know whether I could trust him after everything I had gone through.
And so, I stood there, rubbing my temples, as he tried to apologise.
“You don’t have the right to apologise to her after what you have done you….SNAKE!” hissed Ells, glaring at Louis from beside me.
“And YOU don’t have the right to talk to my best friend like that!” Harry glared right back at Ells.
“Hey, come on guys, let’s not all fight…” Said Liam, trying to control the situation.
“Ells is right though. Louis doesn’t have the right to talk to Scar. Not after what she went through.” Said Sophie right back at Liam, who looked like he wanted nothing more than to disappear just then, under Sophie’s glare.
“Don’t talk to him like that! He was only trying to fix all the arguing up!” Commented Niall, defending his friend.
“Guys, can we please stop all this bickering. Maybe you boys should leave…” Said Luce.
“Maybe we should!” Glared Harry, while Louis just stood there watching everything go down, paling with every comment.
This was all too much for me and I began to sway, getting a little dizzy. I grabbed hold of whoever was next to me, and it just so happened to be Zayn. “Make them stop, please.” I whispered to him, at which he placed two fingers in his mouth and whistled. All the bickering stopped at once and I was extremely grateful for that. I wasn’t very good around people when they fought. I tended to take things personally and seeing my friends fighting with three of the boys I could tell they were falling for, was tough. It was too much for me to handle so I was more than grateful when they stopped fighting.
“I think it’s Scarlet’s choice whether she wants to hear his explanation or not…” Said Zayn putting me in the limelight. Thanks for that mate.
I thought about it for a minute. I thought about what he had done, and I thought about why he had done it. That was one thing I had never found out though.(Sure he had given me that little excuse in front of Rebecca, but I had never really believed it. I knew there was more to it than that). I thought about my mother and her best friend and how this grudge I had against Louis Tomlinson was affecting everyone around me. I thought about my best friends and how they had to put up with my constant mood changes. Most of all though, I thought about myself. It was time for me to hear his side of the story. It was time for me to final put together what had happened all those years ago.
“Let’s go.” I said grabbing hold of Louis wrist. As I did so, I felt the same electricity run through my arms, but this time I ignored it.
I saw everyone look at me like I was crazy while Zayn just grinned. I rolled my eyes at him.
“We can talk in my room. And none of you are to follow, understand? You can listen in from the door for all I care, but if you interrupt me even once, I will hurt you.” Everyone simply nodded and the boys even saluted. They had a weird obsession with that action.
I lead Louis into the room and sat down on the bed as he paced. It seemed like he was too guilt-ridden to take a seat anywhere. I wringed my hands together as he began.
“I am so sorry for everything Red—Scar, I didn’t know any of that was happening still. If I had, I swear to you I would never have let it happen. I promised you that I would never hurt you intentionally and meant that. But I broke that promise; I broke it over and over. And I don’t expect you to forgive me, but I am so sorry. If I could I would take it all back I promise you I would, but my promises probably mean nothing to you now and I don’t blame you. When I saw those cuts on your wrists, I felt like someone had ripped my heart out while I was alive and fed it to piranhas, and even though I should have been dead, I could feel their teeth tearing my heart apart. I honestly thought Rebecca would stop everything. I had thought that she would leave you alone if I had stopped talking to you… she told me she would leave you alone, and I foolishly believed her. I should have known it was a lie. That night near the lake, when you had dropped my necklace in the dirt I knew I had lost you then and there. I couldn’t handle that. I stopped responding to people for weeks and I didn’t go to school for a while. Mum thought I was just sick. But if I had known that you were leaving and that the last time I got to see you was when you looked me in the eyes at the edge of the lake and that my last memory would be of you calling my name for help, I would have jumped out of bed and run to the airport searching for you. But I didn’t know because no one knew. All we had was a note attached to your door which said ‘we’re leaving and never coming back. Please do not touch our property.’ I’m so sorry for letting you down all those times. I’m so sorry for everything. I don’t deserve your forgiveness. And I certainly don’t deserve how nice you’ve been to even listen to my pathetic excuse of an apology. But I really am telling you the truth when I say that when you left it broke me and that Rebecca was the only reason I stopped talking to you. She had promised me that she would leave you alone if I befriended her and not you, and so I did, thinking it would save you from so much pain. But I should have known better, because you never smiled after that. You never looked at anyone and your eyes had lost the spark that they always had when we hung out. I’m so sorry Scar. And even if you do forgive me for what I have done, I will never, never forgive myself for what I put you through. The guilt eats away at me every night when I go to sleep and every morning when I wake up… I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in six years…” He finished.
I was shocked. He had put me through all that because he believed that the bullying would stop. He was so naïve. I still had one question for him though, “Why didn’t you help me when I called for you? You knew how much I hated water…”
“I tried. Believe me I tried Scar, but it wasn’t easy. Rebecca had her goons holding me back. Four of them to be exact. I tried to free myself, but it was no use. And when I saw you go slack, my heart stopped and my body froze. I had thought you were dead…” He said a few tears spilling from his eyes.
Even after all these years, it still hurt me to see him cry. It still hurt me when he hurt, despite how much he had put me through, I couldn’t help but still love him. He had been my hero back then and no matter what, I had a bond with him. And unbreakable bond which would last forever.
I had never hated Louis. Never. I had simply hated the way he had behaved and some of his actions. But even now, after everything, the bad memories I shared with him were far outweighed by the good. And I knew, like I always had, that I would end up forgiving him. Because to be honest, I had.
The moment I had stepped outside of that hospital when I was 13, I had forgiven him, because if I hadn’t, then I doubt I would have been standing here right now, listening to him apologise.
I doubt I would have been standing in front of the boy whom I was still, irrevocable in love with.
And that was the one thing about me that he, or anyone else, could never know.