The Only Exception

It's Zayn Malik before One Direction. Zayn and Lucy develop a relationship despite their popularity statuses. They love each other, but is it worth losing friends and family? Will their struggle to cope with outside forces end up in vain or will they have the happily ever after?

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Zayn's P.O.V.

“Zayn,” Lucy cried. I stopped kissing her and pulled myself away from her. She covered her eyes and then I saw the tears running beneath her fingers.

“Lucy, what’s wrong?” I asked, gently pulling away her hands. She was lying beside me on her bed, the sheets barely covering her delicate features. “Lucy,” I whispered, kissing her forehead.

I watched her as she tried to control her sobbing. After a while, she sat up, wrapping the sheets around herself. “Zayn,” she whimpered. “Zayn, I can’t do this.”

I looked at her, confused. “Can’t do what?” I asked. I began pulling on my clothes as she leaned against the wall, carefully watching me. Before I put on my shirt, I asked her again, “Can’t do what?”

She smiled and began picking at the sheets. “Put on your shirt Zayn,” she said sadly. “I can’t really pay attention when I’m looking at someone who’s so fit,” she joked. I put on my shirt but didn't say anything. I leaned against the opposite wall and watched her. She sighed. “I can’t do this,” she repeated, moving her hand through her hair. In that moment, the sun hit perfectly on her left ring finger. The light reflected on a shiny diamond ring. “It just doesn't feel right…” she said, but stopped as I walked over to her.

“What’s this?” I asked, furious. “What the hell is this?” She looked at her finger in my hand, speechless. I glared at the ring and then at her.

She gasped. “You can’t seriously be mad that I’m engaged,” she said but didn't look into my eyes.

“Yes, yes I can be absolutely pissed at that!” I yelled. I dropped her hand and stormed out of the room.

“Zayn!” she yelled, her voice muffled as she pulled a shirt over her head. “Zayn,” she said, grabbing my arm. “I’m sorry if I didn't tell you right away, but it didn't seem right.”

“Let go of me,” I said, pushing aside her hand.

“Zayn,” she screamed. “It’s not my fault that I decided to move on! We were just high school sweethearts and there had to come a time that I moved on. We both moved on because you can’t live your life like that,” she begged.

I walked over to her, almost blinded by the anger. “You literally moved on, leaving me in that fucking school all by myself. You left me when I was at my worst! Excuse me if I was feeling a tad bit upset that I didn't want to talk after Jared was sent to jail. You left me, taking away the only other friend I had!” I yelled, pointing my finger at her. “You left me all by myself and you’re telling me that I should just moved on. Well Goddammit Lucy, there wasn't much of a choice, was there!”

In the silence that followed, Lucy’s eyes begin filling with tears. We both gasped as a door was slowly closed shut. I glanced at Lucy and then towards the front door, where a jock looking guy stood, glaring right back at me.

“Lucy?” he called out. Lucy glanced around the hallway as though nothing was happening. She bit her lower lip and then sighed, looking down at her bare legs. She whimpered and soon she was sobbing.

I heard the guy’s footsteps walk up the stairs. I wasn't sure whether I should flee or remain where I was. The guy reached the final step and inhaled loudly when he saw Lucy. He glared once again at me, and, without saying a word, walked back down the stairs. A few moments later, the door slam shut, and I sighed in relief.

“Who’s he?” I demanded. I didn't care that she was crying or regretting anything because I had been through worse. Lucy didn't stop crying, which only made me angrier. “What are you crying about?” I yelled. “You’re the one who set yourself up in this situation. Why the hell didn't you tell me you were engaged? Why the hell didn't you tell me something, anything, before you deserted me? Who the hell do you think you are?”

She looked up, anger in her eyes as well. “The Zayn I knew wouldn't have cared about the answers. He would only want me to be happy even if it meant he wouldn't get those answers!” she retaliated.

“Well guess what Lucy, fame didn't change me. It didn't make me into this heartless monster you think I’m being. It was you, Lucy. It was you who hurt me so bad that the pain seems never ending even after all these years.”

“It wasn't my fault!” she yelled back.

“What the fuck are you talking about? Who are you going to blame now? It was all you. You left me. You dumped me. And now you cheated on your fucking fiancé!” I shouted, grabbing her hand again. “It was all you!” I yelled, fiercely shaking her hand.

“Zayn!” she screamed, pulling her hand out of mine. “Fuck you,” she whispered. “You don’t deserve an explanation. I am telling you the truth: it wasn't my fault.”

“Then why did you dump me and then disappear?” I retaliated.

“Get out of my house,” she said.

“No!” I yelled. “I’m not about to leave without answers after all those years of wondering. I can’t just walk away now, after all those fucking years, and be ok with it. I want those answers now.”

“Get out of my house,” she said again, walking towards the staircase.

“No, tell me whose damn fault it is!”

“Zayn, please get out of my house.”

“You know what I had to go through?” I asked, walking closer and closer to her. “I had to sit there and listen to all those bastards poking fun at how I made you leave. Every single day, I had to deal with the rumors, the lies, the insults, and the glares. Those months after you left were the worst. It was so bad that I had to go to another school,” I said, restraining my anger. I was so close to her, pointing my finger directly at her. “The teasing just got so bad, you know, that I was so grateful when I moved to my new school. It was a chance to start all over. Physically, I was there, pretending that everything was fine, but emotionally, I was burnt out. I struggled every day. Now tell me Lucy, why the hell did you leave?”

“His name is Tony,” she said stubbornly. “We’re getting married in four months and I love him. I moved on, but unfortunately, I can’t say the same for you.” She crossed her arms across her chest, which sent me over the edge.

“You hurt me,” I whispered. “Why are you acting like such a bitch?”

“My friends and parents set me up. Me and Mike believed we were going on vacation here in LA, but it became obvious we weren't coming back after two months passed. Our dad took both of our phones, cancelled those numbers, and then handed us two new phones. They knew I wouldn't have mesmerized your phone number. You weren't anywhere on the internet even though I tried so hard to find you. Mike and I struggled for months. It was so hard knowing that we would never return. But we both knew it was time to move on, so that’s exactly what we did.” We both stared at each other for such a long time that it felt like hours were passing by.

“You texted me,” I said, breaking the silence. “Saying you wanted to break up.”

Lucy’s stiff expression didn't change. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I never broke up with you nor would I have dreamed of it. If it wasn't for the move here, you and I would probably be getting married in four months, but it’s not. I’m sorry Zayn, but I think it’s best that you leave.” I nodded reluctantly and began walking down the stairs. I glanced one time back at her.

“I’d be lying if I said I hadn't thought about you all these years.” Lucy stood there and I could see she was holding back tears. “I love you Lucy, and I always will, no matter what happens next.” I turned back around and walked out of the front door. I found myself in an unfamiliar neighborhood and struggled as I tried making my way back to the rented house. After a few minutes of walking, I found myself crying. I lost her again.

I felt emptier than ever before.

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