Blame September (One Direction)

Blame September Trailer: http://youtu.be/WQz3h4ZwEH0 Carter’s face remained serious. “You’d be surprise what makes different guys want to hurt a girl.” He said. “Just remember what I said.” Carter threatened once more before pushing past Harry and driving away. Harry stood for a moment stunned at Carter’s threat. He wondered what Lili’s last boyfriend did to her. If it’s as bad as Carter says, he might even want to find the guy himself and do a little damage. He then walked up the stone porch and rang the doorbell. It was Lili’s mother who answered the door... *************************************************************************************** Lili, & her two best friends are ready for summer. But what happens when their no-drama summer, collides with the hectic world of 1D and love sparks between Lili & one of the boys? OR when a secret relationship springs up between another two. What about when a secret to protect the ones they love could possibly be the end of

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7. Chapter Seven: Don't Ever Give Up

 

Well, I won’t give up on us.

Even if the skies get rough.

I’m giving you all my love

I’m still looking up.

____________________________________________________________________________

The sun beamed through Harry’s bedroom windows, warming his face. He rose up slowly, rubbing his eyes and running his hands through his curls before looking around to an empty bed. A confused expression crawled across his face. He yawned and stumbled out of bed and down the hallway towards the kitchen with a pounding in his head.

“Coffee?” A drowsy voice asked from Harry’s left.

“Hmm? Oh, erm...yes please.” Harry forced a tired smile towards Lili.

“You and your coffee, I think you have a problem.” Char said, entering the kitchen.

Lili smirked.

“Hey, I don’t get drunk that often!” Char retaliated.

“Shhhh! I’m still waking up.” A sleepy Louis said, rubbing his eyes.

“Oh, so I assume you guys slept together.” Harry said. “No surprise there…” he mumbled under his breath.

“If you mean sharing a bed, then yes we did.” Char replied. “But that’s all, nothing compared to what your guys’ excuse must be for making noise last night.”

“To be honest I don’t remember much, but I woke up happy so I have no complaints, make as many comments as you want.” Lili said in a smog voice.

“Thanks, because I was really looking for your permission.” Char laughed.

“Alright, alright you two that’s enough.” Louis said. “It’s only ten in the morning we shouldn’t be talking this much; this is the time of the day that we’re supposed to being using grunts and hand motions to communicate.”

“I agree with that one.” Niall said, making his way to the counter. Behind him was a very tired Zayn who walked over to the couch and collapsed on to the soft cushions. Just then Liam walked through the back door with sweat pouring down his face.

“Well, look at all the sleepy heads.” He laughed.

“Where were you?” asked Niall drowsily.

“I went for a morning run along the beach’ it’s absolutely beautiful outside.”

“I wish I could be awake like you are right now.” Charlotte complained. “What even happened last night?”

“Well…..all I know is that when I went to bed, Niall and Zayn had already passed out and the four of you were arguing whether or not we should buy a cat…”Liam jogged their memories.

“Oh yeah! Oh Harry, you and you’re pussies.” Louis winked.

“That argument isn’t over; we’ll let management decide if we get a cat or not!” Harry said.

“Management? Whose management?” Lili asked confused. Harry’s eyes widened in realizing he had let another One Direction related subject slip. His eyes went to everyone else in the room searching for an excuse.

“Yeah….you know…”Zayn stuttered while getting up from the couch. He knew what Harry’s face would look like in this moment and when no one else was offering their help he thought of something quick. “The manager of this flat complex. We have to ask him if we’re allowed to have pets.”

“Yeah! Can’t be thrown out now!” Liam exclaimed.

“Well, look who decided to join us.” Char cracked. “Good morning there sunshine!”

“Oy, I’m still not fully awake, but I wouldn’t mind having some of that coffee now, if you don’t mind Lili.” Zayn flashed Lili a warm smile. Lili grabbed another mug from the cabinet and poured Zayn some coffee.

“Would you like some Liam?” Lili asked.

“No thanks, I’m very much awake already, thanks love.”

“Suit yourself.” She smiled. “So what’s on the agenda for today boys?”

“Oh I see, I guess what I want to do doesn’t matter.” Char said sarcastically.

‘Oh hush, you.” Lili smirked.

“Well, I kind of feel like going to the beach, I don’t know about the rest of you.” Louis answered.

“Oh my gosh! Yes! I’m so down for the beach.” Char agreed excitedly.

“Yeah, I could go for a few hours in hitting the waves.” Harry said.

“Well I wanted to pick up some new shoes so I’m going to go to the mall.”  Niall chimed in.

“Mind if I join you? I’ve wanted to go shopping for two weeks now!” Lili asked. “That is, as long as Harry’s okay with it…” she raised her eyebrows towards Harry.

“Of course I don’t mind, if you want to spend your day with someone other than me why would I care?” Harry answered her.

“Well last night, if I do recall, you were a little bit jealous.” She giggled.

“I was not!”

“Don’t lie Harold, it’s not very nice.” She shook her head while the others laughed.

“Don’t worry Haz, I’ll take good care of her!” Niall reassured him, putting his arm around Lili’s shoulders.

“Yeah yeah, have fun shopping.” Harry mumbled. Lili found it cute though the way he was jealous. It wasn’t the annoying kind, but the one that made her feel special enough that a guy like him would be scared to lose her in the few moments they weren’t together.

“Yeah, I think I’ll join you two as well, I just spent the morning at the beach; not really in the mood to go back yet.” Liam said. “What about you Zayn, mall or beach?”

“Neither.” He mumbled, clearly still very exhausted.

“You going to sleep all day instead?”

“No! I’ve got a date thank you very much.”

“Oh yeah! The brunette from the amusement park that a little birdie told me about!” Louis winked.

“Yes, that’s the one.” He smiled sarcastically.

“Well have fun! Let me just take a quick shower and we can go.” Liam said. He turned and walked down the hallway; heading towards the bathroom.

“Alright you two, go grab your bathing suits and let’s go!” Louis snapped at Char and Harry.

“Do you even have a bathing suit with you, Char?” Harry asked.

“Yes actually, I wore one to six flags yesterday so I’m actually prepared.” Char smiled and headed to Louis’ room to get changed out of his shirt into her electric blue bathing suit.

“If you want we can stop at your house so you can run in and change before the mall.” Niall said to Lili.

“Works for me, thanks!” She agreed.

“Great, well I guess we all go our own ways now, see everyone again tonight at dinner?” Niall said.

“Dinner?!? Yeah, that sounds good. We should go somewhere really fancy, just for the hell of it!” Lili suggested.

“You just want an excuse to get dressed up!” Char said, returning towards the kitchen. Louis looked her up and down; smiling at the way her bathing suit complimented her skin tone perfectly.

“So! I like getting dressed up, is that such a horrible thing?”

“Not at all, I’d love to see you get all fancy.” Harry bit his lip and winked at Lili; she blushed in return.

“Okay! I’m ready!” Liam exclaimed.

“Alright well how about Poseidon’s for dinner? Sound good? Kay, good.” Niall said impatiently.

“Alright, or don’t wait for us to answer.” Charlotte laughed.

“Well we better go see you guys later! Oh and have fun on your date Zayn!” Lili said. “Bye!”

~

Waves crashed on the shore while a cool breeze filled the air. Warm sand slipped between their toes as Harry, Louis, and Char stepped onto the sunny beach. Seagulls squawked in their ears as they hunted for food. The three set up their chairs and towels right by the water; after just five minutes they were already running into the chilling ocean. A slight screech left Char as the cold sensation splashed onto her feet.

“Aw, what’s the matter, afraid of a little water?” Harry teased.

“No! I just need to get used to the temperature, that’s all. I’ll be as far out as you guys in a little bit don’t worry.” Char answered. Before she realized what was going on Harry and Louis had exchanged sneaky looks and she was being pulled in by her hands and her feet; only to be tossed high into the air and into the incoming wave. When she came up from underwater, Louis and Harry were in hysterics. “OH very funny. I hope you know, that this means war.” She winked before splashing Louis and Harry until their hair stuck their faces and eyes squinted; full of salt water.

“Okay, Okay!!!” Louis yelled. “We’re sorry!!! You win!!!” Char laughed and ceased her hands from flicking anymore water at them.

            The three of them exchanged laughter and stories as they took on wave after wave, far out into the ocean. A good hour had passed before they decided to take a break and have some lunch. It was already 12:30 pm as they made their way up to their spot and lounged out on their towels; soaking up the sun and drying off.

“Ahhh, this is so nice.” Char sighed, sounding completely relaxed.

“Very.” Louis smiled at her. Char’s cheeks lit up a bright pink.

“Don’t mean to interrupt.” Harry smirked. “But there is another person here you know.” He cocked his eyebrows.

“Louis, did you say something?” Char said.

“No, must have been the wind.”

“Ha-ha, very funny. You guys could at least try to be a little better about hiding your ‘hots’ for each other.” Harry said, regarding their teasing him.

“Please, we do not have the ‘hots’ for each other. We’re just busting your chops since we know how much you wish Lili was here right now.” Char teased some more.

“I do not! We don’t need to spend ever second together, so I’m perfectly okay without her.” He trailed off.

“Whatever you say, jealous.” Louis snapped.

“Me? Jealous? Of who, you guys? You two don’t even know you fancy each other.”

“No silly, jealous of Niall.” Char answered him.

“Niall, since when did his become about him.” Harry was beginning to get real annoyed.

“Since Lili spent yesterday and today with him instead of you and it’s getting under your skin.”

“It is not bothering me. Lili and Niall are only friends.”

“Please, Haz. Everyone can tell you’re jealous; just give it up.” Louis said.

“Fine, I’m slightly jealous, but not where I feel like I can’t trust her; or Niall for that matter.”

“Ah, now doesn’t it feel better to admit it. Besides, I’m sure you’re right, nothing to worry about; unless some guy randomly confesses his love for her or something.” Louis laughed. Harry’s eyes grew wide for a moment.

“Lou!” Char smacked his arm. “Don’t listen to him. Lili likes you too much, believe me.” Char said sincerely. “I bet she’s thinking about you right now even.” She winked.

            In fact, back at the mall, Lili had just thought about Harry. Niall, Lili, and Liam arrived at the mall half an hour ago and they had already shopped at four stores; they knew today was going to be a good shopping day. And just when she felt happy enough, Lili walked past the newly opened Jack Wills store and the thought of Harry immediately popped into her mind, giving her that ‘lost in the moment feeling’. There had only been fourteen Jack Will’s stores in the entire USA and the other thirteen were only found on the East Coast. She knew she had to stop in and get something for Harry.

“What about this?” She asked Liam and Niall, holding up a Welford Blazer in charcoal.

“It’s perfect!” Liam said, with slight hesitation in his voice.

“But..?” Lili asked.

“He won’t accept it.” Niall said bluntly.

“Why not?”

“Too much money. He shops here all the time too so you can’t fool him about the price. If there is one thing I know about Harry it’s that he likes to spoil, not be spoiled.” Niall replied.

“Ugh! You boys are too complicated.” Lili shook her head in frustration.

“Hey, girls aren’t easy to understand either.” Liam said.

“Oh, ‘because you clearly have trouble with girls, considering you have a girlfriend.” Niall replied sarcastically.

“Wait, you have a girlfriend?! Since when?!” Lili asked in shock.

“Why so surprised?” Liam asked, sounding a bit offended.

“No, it’s nothing to do with you, but last night I was joking about your new female trainer, but you had a girlfriend the whole time. Why didn’t you say something?” Lili asked again.

“Oh, um, I guess I just thought everyone knew. I forgot that you’re not…” Liam caught himself before finish the sentence. Niall shot him a quick look, and Liam’s eyes grew full of worry for a second. Harry would be beyond furious if Liam actually slipped by saying that she wasn’t a crazed fan of theirs who knew who was dating who.

“I’m not what?”

“Oh, you know…I forgot that we only knew you for a few weeks now; it feels like a lifetime…” Liam said unconvincingly. Niall rubbed his eyes in disappointment. “But yes, if you must know. I have a girlfriend. Her name is Danielle and she’s in London, so that’s why you haven’t met her yet; I know that was your next question.”

“So I assume you guys were dating before you moved here? Aw, long-distance! That’s adorable. But back to what you tried to cover up before…I thought I was just being paranoid before but now I know you guys are definitely hiding something from me…and I’m going to find out.” Lili said sternly, wagging her finger at the boys.

“You caught us. We’re definitely hiding something!” Niall teased.

“Oh hush. I know you are and I’m going to get to the bottom of it. You just watch.” Lili said with a sly smirk. “Anyway, how about this? I kind of owe him a new hoodie anyway since I stole his purple one.” She said holding up a Campbell Knitted hoodie in grey.

“He let you have his purple Jack Wills hoodie?!” Liam said in shock.

“Yeah why?”

“That’s like his most prized piece of clothing. He never lets anyone borrow or wear it even for a split second.” Niall answered.

“Well, I guess I’m just special.” Lili winked.

“You must be.” Niall said sweetly; Liam hitting his arm afterwards to stop him from flirting any further. Niall gave Liam a “I know what you’re thinking and you’re wrong” look. Niall only wanted to be friends with Lili.

Liam cleared his throat and said, “Anyway, back to the hoodie, I bet he’ll love it.”

“Niall?”

“Yeah, he will, as long as he doesn’t think it’s expensive.”

“Well he better like it because this is probably the cheapest thing in this whole store.”

“He will, especially considering it’s from you.” Liam nudged her. She giggled and the three made their way up to the register. Lili paid for Harry’s sweatshirt along with new perfume. Niall ended up getting a new belt and a pair of chinos while Liam bought a new pair of lounge pants. They gathered their bags and exited the shop. They were laughing while talking about the way the guy behind the register acted like he was much better than them when they ran into none other than Carter.

“Carter! Oh my gosh! It feels like it has been forever!” Lili exclaimed.

“Yeah well, you did kind of ditch me for these dudes.” He said, gesturing towards Liam and Niall. “Where’s the other one, Harry? I didn’t expect you to be without him.” Carter snapped.

“Carter!” Lili slapped his arm lightly. “Be nice. Look, I’m sorry I haven’t been around lately, but in my defense I was sick for a week, and you even saw me then! SO relax, I didn’t forget you; we’re still best friends, aren’t we?” Lili asked with apologetic eyes. She felt bad about shutting out Carter; after all he was the only guy that she really became friends with before the boys.

Carter paused for a moment, giving Lili his “are you being serious” look; but her eyes and smile kept him from staying mad. “Yesssss, we’re still best friends.” He smiled. “I’m sorry too, I didn’t mean to sound so nasty.”

“Well I don’t care, I’ve dealt with your moods like this a bunch of times, but you owe them that apology.” She said sternly. “Now go ahead.”

Carter turned towards Niall and Liam to apologize. After all, he really wasn’t angry with them…just Harry; actually not even angry, but extremely jealous. “Sorry guys, I guess I’m just not used to Char and Lili not constantly asking me to hang, mostly because I’m their ride everywhere.” He joked. He stuck out his hand in truce and Niall shook it, then Liam.

“Hey!” Lili objected. “Not true! We enjoy your company as well!”

Carter laughed and said, “Yeah, yeah whatever you say.” Lili shook her head and rolled her eyes jokingly.

“Well I’m not sure what you’re here for, but why don’t you join us shopping?” Lili asked. “You guys don’t mind, right?” She asked Liam and Niall.

“Of course not, we just made a truce!” Liam exclaimed while the others laughed.

“Hmm, alright; I could use some shopping buddies.” Carter answered. The now group of four made their way out of the Jack Wills doorway and down the mall, stopping in store after store; things going surprisingly well to Lili’s liking. If she’s going to be spending a lot of time with the boys, she needs to make sure that Carter is cool with it; and as of now, he seems perfectly fine with it. The day was great; nothing could ruin it.

~

“Okay well I think that’s enough shopping and browsing for now, I need a break.” Lili said, sounding exhausted.

“Whoa, wait just a minute!” Niall began. “You’re the girl…shouldn’t one of us be saying that?!”

Lili laughed and said, “Oh shut it, I’m just hungry.”

“Well good, because here’s the food court!” Liam said.

“How much are you going to spend on food this time?” Carter teased Lili and she glared at him.

“Oh we got a big eater here, do we?” Niall’s eyes lit up. “It’s okay, I like food too!” Niall whispered.

“Yes, I’m a bit of a big eater. It’s just that I want everything, so I’ll end up getting my meal and then getting two more sides, along with a cookie or brownie for dessert! I can never finish it all but it all looks so good!” Lili defended herself.

“I swear she spends half of her life savings on food.” Carter said.

“Okay enough talking about food, let’s get some!” Niall said excitedly.

“The usual?” Lili asked, cocking her eyebrows at Carter.

“Yes! Let’s do it!”

“Did we just miss a part of the conversation or something?” Liam asked confused.

“No!” Lili laughed. “Carter and I always get Panda Express when we come to the mall. Chinese food has always been our thing since when we first met because every time he wanted me to feel better about something he’d get Chinese food because the fortunes always cheered me up. That and the fact that he actually thought Chinese was the answer to everything.” She teased.

“I’m a guy! What do you expect, I don’t know everything!”

“Oh well isn’t that cute.” Niall joked.

“Whatever, you think what you want but Carter and I are going to go get our food, meet you guys at the table!” Lili yelled as she and Carter walked towards Panda Express. She watched as Liam and Niall headed towards McDonald’s.

            Lili and Carter had ordered their food and we’re on their way back to greet Liam and Niall at the table they had gotten. At first they thought finding them among the many tables would be difficult, but once they say the one and only table with an excess amount of food, they knew it had to be Niall and Liam.

“Got enough?” Lili teased.

“Hey, I am a growing boy; I need to eat this much!” Niall defended.

“Oh, just a boy? I thought you became a man at eighteen but I guess not.” Lili said sarcastically.

“Got that right! Why grow up when being a kid is the best thing in the world!”

“I have to agree with him on that one” Carter added. “Besides, you’re not one to talk considering you’re only 17! You’re the youngest here!” He teased some more.

“Alright, alright! How ‘bout we just eat now.” Lili complained.

            The four of them scarfed down their food like unfed puppies. Walking around built up quite the appetite for them and the food made their taste buds tingle. They laughed as they joked with each other and brought up stories from each other’s pasts. By the time they had finished eating the clock read four o’clock.

“Wow, I can’t believe its four o’clock already! I don’t think time flew by that fast for me in weeks!” Lili said while chuckling.

“Well that’s what happens when you meet us” Niall started. “Everything changes, for the better!”

“Oh so it’s all because of then huh? What about me and carter, it wasn’t because of us?” she said sarcastically.

“Nope.” Liam said plainly. Lili shook her head while smiling at their snugness.

“Well anyway, what time are we supposed to meet at the restaurant?” Lili asked.

“Oh well I’m assuming probably around six.” Liam answered.

“That’s only two hours from now!” Lili exclaimed. “I can’t be ready in time!”

“You really need two hours to get ready?” Niall criticized.

“Hey, I’m a girl and I want to take a shower so add those together and you get at least two hours!”

“Wait, I’m sorry I think I missed something; what’s the problem now?” Carter asked.

“Oh right! Carter you drove here right?” Lili asked, ignoring his question.

“Yeah…why?” Carter answered uneasily.

“Well we’re having this dinner tonight, like the rest of the guys, char and I; and of course you’re invited too…right guys?” She looked at Liam and Niall who had concerned looks on their faces.

“Um, yeah…of course.” Liam replied with uncertainty; he knows how Harry and Carter don’t seem to get along very well.

“Well great! Because Carter can take me back to my house so I can get ready and then we’ll meet you guys at the restaurant, sound good?”

“Or we could take you…” Niall argued. “I mean, do you know where the restaurant is, Carter?”

“Which is it?” Carter asked.

Poseidon’s.” Lili answered.

“Oh yeah I know where that is! Wow, fancy eating huh?” Carter teased.

“Great, so Carter can take me because I made you guys wait yesterday for Char and I and I’m not going to do that again.” She said to Niall. “And I’m pretty sure Carter is used to it by now; so it’ll be no problem.”

“Um…okay. I guess we’ll see you both there then…” Niall finally agreed.

“Yay! Okay, see you guys later then!” Lili called to Liam and Niall, as she was already hauling Carter out of the mall to take her to her house.

~

            The top was down in Carter’s Mustang and the wind was making a mess out of Lili’s hair as she sang as loud as she can to California Girls by Katy Perry. Carter looked at her ridiculousness and couldn’t help but laugh. Lili and Carter used to spend all their days like this; when they had nothing to do, or sometimes everything to do, but they just felt like going for a drive…they would. They didn’t know where they were going or why, but they drove and drove until they reached somewhere interesting; but normally the drive was more fun for them than the place they arrived at itself. Nowadays these times spent together have been becoming less and less…and they both knew it as they looked at each other and smiled, making fun of the way each other sang or danced. Before they knew it they were at Lili’s house and the time had to come to an end.

Lili looked up at Carter; she smiled and said, “Man, this brings back the memories of the good times.”

“You mean when we used to go about our days with no game plan…let the day take us where it wanted us to go?

“Yeah…I miss those days.” Lili said shyly.

“Me too…” Carter whispered. “We used to be best friends Lil, what happened?”

“What are you talking about? We’re still best friends!” She answered, sounding confused.

“Never mind...forget it.” He answered shaking his head.

“No Carter, tell me.” She said strictly. “Does this have to do with Char and me spending time with the boys?”

“No…” Carter drifted off.

“Carter!” She yelled, demanding an answer.

“Yes! Okay, yes.” He shot back. “It’s not so much the boys, but ever since Harry came into the picture it’s like I don’t exist to you anymore!”

“Carter, Harry is not taking me away from you. You need to stop being so jealous. We are best friends…we always will be.”

“You think I’m jealous?!”

“Well yeah…” She began. “Harry told me you threatened him last week when I was sick. You have no right to do that.”

“No right?! Lili, who was there when the last guy you so called loved broke your heart twice when he cheated on you with three different girls! Who has been there for you ever since!” Carter yelled.

“You’re really going to bring that up?”

“Yeah I am. Because the fact of the matter is I care about you Lili. Something with Harry doesn’t sit right with me and I’m not going to let another jackass break you again. It took too long last time…I can’t stand seeing you hurt.”

“Carter, I know you’re trying to protect me but not every guy is the same and, sure I’m going to be breaking up with some and them with me but I can’t be afraid to date again all because of one asshole who ruined my life for a few years.”

“You don’t get it Lil! When you fall, you fall hard. Any guy you date, if you like them at all and they break up with you you’re going to be hurt for a long time. But what scares me most is that you look at Harry the same way you used to look at your ex, I won’t name him… but I don’t want you to fall that hard again, until it’s with the right person!”

“And how do you know he’s not the right person! Who exactly is the right person for me, Carter? Hm?” Lili shouted.

“I am!” Carter screamed back at her. Silence over took the car as Lili was completely speechless. She had little bits of gut feelings that Carter had feelings for her, but to hear him say it...she was shook up. “I…I love you Lil. I know it’s taken me a while to say it…but to be honest I didn’t think you were ready for anything yet…”

“It’s been three years, Carter…how could you think I wasn’t ready…?” Lili asked quietly, staring at her feet.

“I was worried...” he stuttered. “Worried that, if you were still hurting, and I told you…we’d be done forever, and I couldn’t let that happen.”

“Why now?”

“Well, when I see you with Harry…it hurts me….so I said I wasn’t jealous…I was lying. Truth is I’m crazy about you and I don’t want you to be with the wrong guy. Seeing you with him drives me mad because I know his type. He’s going to screw up and when he does it’ll be big. I’ll have to wait years again, and the worst part is you’ll be hurting the whole time, and that tears me up inside. I hate when you cry, I just want to make you smile. I love when you laugh; it’s the cutest thing I’ve ever heard. The way you dance like nobody is watching and how your free spirit is what makes you the best person anyone could be. I would never hurt you; I’d always protect you and we’d have the best of times.” Carter said as he grabbed Lili’s hand and turned her face towards his. “We have so much history, you know how great we could be; and I know somewhere inside you, you share feelings for me too.” He looked into her eyes as she turned away once more. He could feel her hands shaking and he saw the shock mixed with hesitation in her eyes. “No Lili,” he said turning her once more to face him, “look me in the eyes and tell me you don’t feel the same way, not even the slightest bit.”

            Lili looked into his eyes. She saw so much passion; all the memories of them together played through her mind and feelings rushed through her. Her head was exploding with different thoughts and it was shocking to her that she even had to think about this; but the problem was, which part was more shocking…that she even had to think twice about loving him, or turning him down. She was with Harry, so this should be an easy decision, right? But Carter is her best friend…she was completely lost for words. Finally, she put her hand on the door handle and opened it. She gathered her things and stepped one foot outside of the car. Before exiting she turned back to Carter and whispered in a broken voice, “I’m sorry….I just can’t deal with this right now…” and with that she ran into her house; Carter screaming her name behind her echoed through her ears.

            Lili slammed the door behind her as she pressed her head against it. She peeked through the window and watched as Carter drove off as fast as he could. She turned around and rested her back against the door before sliding down to reach the floor, burying her head in her hands and letting tears flow. She was so confused; hurting at the thought of losing her best friend and terrified of the feelings she possibly has for him…scared to face any of the boys or even Char and just wanting to run away for a while. Something she wants to do often when things come along she can’t handle. She sat there with her hands covering her face for a while, before she had nothing left. Her phone buzzed and a message from Carter came up on the screen.

I will never give up.

            She read the message over and over. Things were so great, she was so happy, why didn’t he get that?! But…the truth is that she can’t be completely angry with Carter, because whether she even knew it or not, there was definitely something between them and it just might be better that she found out now.

            Lili’s face was stained from running make-up and her eyes were red and puffy. She looked up with not a single tear left; she took her phone and threw it before grabbing a sweatshirt and opening her front door. She closed the door behind her and she was off; running somewhere, anywhere that was away from here.

~

            Casual music was being played softly through the speakers as Zayn and his date sat on a wooden bench outside of Poseidon’s waiting for the others to show up. The air was the perfect temperature and it was very peaceful. He watched as two cars pulled up to the valet service. Out of one car stepped Niall and Liam and out of the other were Char, Harry and Louis.

“Well, well, well, who do we have here!?” Louis asked as his eyes lit up, gesturing towards Zayn’s date.

“Everyone, this is Harmony.” He said smiling at her.

“Hi everyone! Let me just get this out of the way now, I am a huge fan. Really, you guys make amazing music.”

“Well Harmony, looks like we’re going to like you!” Niall said pointing his finger.

“Yay! I’m glad I’m fitting in already!” She said in a cheerful voice.

“Hi, I’m Char! I like to take the credit for setting you and Zayn up.” Char said. ‘You’re welcome.” She whispered with a wink.

“Well thank you then, Zayn was the perfect gentleman on our date today!”

“So are we going to be seeing a lot of you?” Liam asked.

“Yes, you guys definitely will. “Zayn answered for her. “Um, by the way, where’s Lili? Oh, Harmony, Lili is Harry’s girlfriend, but we don’t talk about One Direction around her okay? She doesn’t know and Harry wants to keep it that way…just a heads up because you’ll be meeting her soon.”

“Thanks Zayn.” Harry said. “But lads, where is she? I though she went shopping with you…?”

“She did!” Niall answered. “But well…we ran into Carter there and then after we ate Lili said she had to get ready so Carter took her home and then was going to bring her here…oh yeah…he’s joining us for dinner.”

“What?! Did he give you guys trouble at the mall?!” Harry exclaimed.

“No, not at all. Actually it was all Lili’s idea that he take her home because she didn’t want to make us wait and she invited him for dinner because she was probably just being polite.” Liam said.

“Great…this should be an interesting night.” Harry rolled his eyes. “Let me call Lili and find out where they are.” He dialed his phone only for it to go straight to Lili’s voicemail. “Her phone is off. Char can you call Carter?”

“Sure, hold on a minute.” She replied as she reached for her phone in her purse. She dialed Carter and he answered. The conversation lasted all of 5 minutes before Carter hung up on Charlotte. “Well, someone’s angry. He said that Lili and him aren’t together, he dropped her off at her house because they had an argument and he hasn’t talked to her since.”

“Why wouldn’t she call on of us for a ride?” Louis asked.

“I’m not sure…but Carter and Lili rarely fight….she might just be really upset.” Charlotte inputted.

“I guess I’ll go get her.” Harry said.

“I don’t know if that’s a great idea Harry, she might want to be alone…” Char disagreed with Harry’s idea. “That’s probably why her phone is off.”

“Well I’m going to go find her. Being with all of us could cheer her up so I’m going. You guys go ahead and get a table; I’ll be back with Lili in less than twenty minutes.”

“Okay!” The group called to him as he got in his car.

“Good luck, Harry.” Char said before she turned into the restaurant. “You might need it…”

            Harry shook his head and drove off. He was angry that Carter picked another fight with someone. He wondered the whole car ride what could make Lili so upset she wouldn’t want to come. Harry got a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach that it had something to do with him and he felt uneasy the rest of the ride. He arrived at Lili’s house and went to the door to ring the doorbell. Lili’s mother answered.

“Hi Mrs. Anderson, is Lili here?” He asked her.

“I’m sorry, no Harry…she’s not. She must be out with Char or Carter or something. I’ll tell her you stopped by okay?” She answered him.

“Are you sure?” Harry asked again.

“Yes, her phone is here but she isn’t I promise you. I can get you Char’s number if you want to call her to see if she knows.”

“No it’s okay, thanks anyway.” He said and turned away to head back to his car. He dialed Char once he got into his car.

“Hey Char, Lili isn’t at her house…her mum said she left her phone there but she’s probably out with Carter or you. She has no idea where she is.” Harry said to Char, sounding a bit worried.

“Well she’s obviously not with us and Carter said he’s not with her so she probably ran off somewhere. Look Harry she can handle herself, don’t worry I’m sure she’s fine.”

“Well that’s not good enough for me. I have to find her…what are some places she might go?”

“I don’t know…maybe she went to your guy’s apartment or the beach. Sometimes she might even go to Starbucks for coffee or the lake by her house.”

“Okay thanks, I’ll try those places. I’ll let you know if I find her.”

“Okay; bye Harry.” Char said and then hung up the phone.

  Harry drove around from place to place asking everyone if they have seen Lili but no one had. He tried everywhere that Char recommended and then some and she was nowhere. Harry pulled into a parking lot off the edge of the road he was on let out a sigh. Anger over took him and he hit his steering wheel hard. He placed his head in his hands and ruffled his fingers through his hair when his phone began to buzz.

“Hello?”

“Hey Harry, it’s Char. It’s been almost an hour and a half…any luck?” She asked

“None; I tried every where you told me and more…I can’t find her.”

“Well we’re almost ready to leave here…we’re just waiting for the check. I thought I should let you know to meet us back at the flat instead.”

“Why don’t you seem the least bit worried?!” Harry shouted at Char.

“Look Harry, I’m not worried because she has done this before…It was a long time ago, but like before I have faith she’ll come back. She just wants space, I’m sure of it.”

“Well, I think she needs someone. Maybe she runs away because she wants someone to find her. Did you ever think of that?”

“You’re not going to give up are you?” Char asked.

“No. Not until I’m with her comforting her and helping her with whatever she needs.”

“Okay, there’s one more place you could try…”

“Where?!” Harry asked as he looked up from the ground and looked around outside. He noticed he was at a school.

“Sometimes when she’s really, really upset or thinking about something…she goes o our old school playground late at night. You know, when no one is there and no one will go and interrupt her.”

“Is this school Perkly, by any chance?” He asked.

“Yeah, how did you know?”

“I’m in the parking lot…” just then Harry turned to his left and stared at the dark and empty playground. “It doesn’t look like anyone is here.”

“I know, but she normally sits on the swings, look over there.”

Just then Harry noticed among the many swings that one was swaying back and forth; on it was a very lost looking Lili. “I think I found her…I’ll call you back.” Harry said as he hung up the phone.

            Harry stepped out of his car and gently closed the door behind him. He walked across the mulch on the playground and topped in front of Lili’s swing.

“Mind if I sit here?” He asked her. She didn’t answer him. She just swayed some more and stared at the ground. “Nice out tonight; the stars are beautiful.”

“What are you doing here?” She interrupted him. Her voice was raspy he could tell she had been crying.

“I came to find you.”

“Well you found me, congratulations…I don’t mean to be rude but you can go now.” She said to him quietly.

“What’s wrong Lili? You know I’ve been searching for you for two hours now, I’m not going to just leave and let you sit here by yourself.” He replied.

“Did you ever think I didn’t want to be found?!” She shot back at him. Whipping towards him Harry saw how much she had cried; tears stained on her face, her voice shaking, her eyes filled with fear.

“Yes, I did. But it didn’t matter because all I knew was that somewhere you were hurting and were alone and I knew I couldn’t let you be by yourself.”

“How did you know I was hurting” She whispered.

“Char called Carter…he said you two had a fight…”Harry said. Lili was quiet. She turned away from Harry and looked up at the sky.

“”We didn’t have a fight…we just…we had a talk that gave me a lot to think about…”

“Lili, don’t shut me out like this, you can tell me.”

She looked back at him; her eyes were saying sorry but Harry had no idea what for. “I’m not shutting you out…I just don’t want a reaction from you that was similar to his. He already stormed away from me; I’m scared you might do the same. I can’t lose you both, not in the same day.”

“How did you lose Carter?” Harry asked.

“I didn’t really lose him. I’m sure he’ll be calling me tomorrow…but I’m worried if you knew what we talked about you might…I might not see you again…” She drifted off.

“That would never happen.”

“I really, really like you Harry. I need you to know that.” Lili said. “Promise me that you believe me?”

“I believe you. Now what did you and Carter talk about?” Harry asked, getting impatient.

“He told me…” She stuttered. “He told me that...he um…loves me. He said you were no good for me and I belong with him.”

Harry took a deep breath as Lili turned away.  He felt a bit betrayed but he didn’t know by who. He eased his voice and said, “What do you think?”

Lili hesitated for a moment. “Carter and I have a lot of history, you know that.” She began. Harry turned away, preparing himself for what she might say. “But when he asked me to look him in the eyes and tell him had absolutely no feelings for him, I couldn’t do it…I could’t say that I did or that I didn’t.”

“So…how about now? If he asked you that question now…after you’ve had time to think about it, what would your answer be?”

“To be honest, I still don’t think I have one. I never thought of Carter as anything more thnan my best friend. Harry I didn’t want to tell you this because it’s my way of saying I’d rather be with him. I’m telling you this because from the bottom of my heart, I have so many strong feelings for you, but with this hanging over my head I don’t think it’s fair for you and I can’t be more hurt by this, I can only imagine what you might be feeling. I don’t blame you if you’re angry at me or if you don’t want to see me again, because it’s not fair for you to be tied down to me with Carter hanging over me like this. But don’t shut out me completely, that’s all I ask. Because I can’t lose you with all these feeling I have for you. It’ll be too hard…” She drifted off.

“So, you do have feelings for Carter?” Harry asked again.

“I don’t know Harry…”She answered sternly.

“Can we play a game?” Harry asked.

“What?”

“Trust me.”

“Okay…” Lili agreed uneasily.

“I want you to answer each of my questions as fast as you could with the very first thing that comes to your mind. Can you do that?”

“I guess so…”

Harry began shooting off questions as fast as he could “What’s your favorite color?”

“Purple.”

“Favorite food?”

“Strawberries.”

“What color is the sky?”

“Blue”

“Where do you live?”

“California”

“Do you like me?”

“Of course.”

“Do you have feelings for Carter?”

“No.”Once Lili realized what Harry had just done she was shocked.

“Can I be honest with you? I think you were digging way to deep into things. Lili you’re only seventeen, and you have years ahead of you to find your soul mate. Maybe it is Carter and maybe it isn’t but that is not something you need to decide this moment…right now I think you only see Carter as your best friend, and you were just taken on a rollercoaster of memories and decisions then he sprang this on you. I’m not saying this because I think we belong together but right then the very first thing that came to you was that you had feelings for me and not the same for Carter. And I know my feelings are just as strong for you. I don’t ever want to hurt you and I know Carter is worried about that. But what we’ve got right now is great and I want to keep it going as long as we could. Maybe we’re meant to be maybe not, but right now we make each other happy and should that be all that counts at this age? I don’t want to lose you either Lilian Anderson, you’ve been one of the best things to happen to me and I’m not going to end things between us because I trust that you and Carter are only friends in your eyes, and we have a spark that could light the world on fire.”

“Wow, I think you’re right…all this time I’m thinking that if I don’t make the right choice my life could be ruined forever. It all had to happen right now. But it doesn’t. Carter is my best friend, you’re right. And I’m sure no matter what I decided he’ll be there for me eventually. I like you so much and I agree, we make each other insanely happy.” She said smiling; it felt good to be able to do that in that moment.

“So what do you say, can we just move past this?”

“I can’t just forget about Carter though…I’m going to have to face him sooner or later.”

“Okay and I support that, I just don’t want him to try to convince you he knows what the best is for you because in the end it is ultimately your decision. Only you know what’s good for you.”

“Thanks Harry. I don’t know how you did it, but you really helped me tonight, and I’m glad it’s you who came to me rather than anyone else. Thanks to you in a matter of seconds I knew how I truly felt about Carter right now, and I’ve been trying to sort this out for four hours now.” She laughed a little. “Thank you, really, so much.”

“You welcome.” He said and grabbed her hand. She smiled at him and he kissed her on her cheek. “See, we can make each other happy in the worst of times, we can work through real tough problems with ease; that must be a good sign!”

Lili giggled. “It must be.” She said as she tightened her grip with Harry and they began to swing back and forth returning their conversation to the normal cheerful ones they usually have. The moon was bright in the sky and the mood had been lifted; Harry had saved the day, and their relationship was stronger because of it. The only thing left was to tell Carter, and that thought stayed in the back of Lili’s mind for the rest of the night, sending worry through her body when she thought too much about it. She’s scared to do it, and even though it was not the best idea and she promised Harry that she was going to tell Carter about them as soon as possible, she was prepared to put it off for as long as she can. She isn’t ready to ignite another argument with anyone and she hopes putting it off won’t do that. Hopefully.

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