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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17. Where Have I Been?

 

Zayn's P.O.V.

I fumbled around in my closet looking for the right outfit to wear. Today was the big day and I was freaking out. After today, I would be able to officially call Lucy my girlfriend, and that put a smile on my face. I chose some jeans, a hoodie, and my favorite Nike’s.

Walking out the door, I felt amazing; light as air. Stepping into school was a whole other matter. I walked around the hallways, looking for Lucy. I ignored the comments people were making and kept looking, until, suddenly, I felt someone grab onto my hand. I turned around to face Lucy, who didn’t hesitate going on her tippy toes and placing her lips on top of mine. I was in awe as I heard the usually loud hallway fall silent with some muted gasps. Lucy’s lips lingered just on top of mine, and then she smiled slyly. She held my hand and led me down the hall. I stared back as shocked faces looked back.

We walked until we reached the door which would lead to the hiding spot. As the door shut behind us, we fell in a fit of laughter.

“Did you see their faces?” Lucy grinned.

“Yeah,” I smiled back. I held her cheeks to look into her eyes, and then I leaned in to kiss her. Her lips followed and then she pulled away.

“Come on,” she said, taking hold of my hand again.

We climbed up the steep hill and towards our oak tree. I was surprised when I found Jared already there.

“Wow Jared, I didn’t know you got high so early in the morning?” I teased. Jared looked up at us with blood shot eyes. He didn’t say anything except glance towards the gun in his lap. Lucy gasped. “Jared,” I asked, trying to hide my worry. “What’s up with the gun?”

Jared only shook his head and then began sobbing into his hands. I let go of Lucy and sat down next to Jared.

“Jared, what did you do?” I asked urgently this time.

“Zayn,” he sobbed. “I don’t know what I did; I just know that I did something really horrible with this gun.”

“Jared, no, don’t say that,” I said, panicking. I took hold of the gun and fumbled around with it. “We’ll clean it up and hide it, or better yet, destroy it. We’ll just get rid of the evidence,” I said. I looked up at Lucy, who had a solemn expression on her face.

“No,” Jared said, still sobbing. “They know it’s me. They’re looking for me right now.” He finally looked up at me and I saw his already shattered life crumble into dust. We were each other’s last piece of hope, and then I got to know Lucy and we no longer spent as much time as we used to. I wasn’t sure anymore of what he had been up to for the past couple of weeks and I began hating myself for slipping out of his life. I hugged him tightly and tried to hold back the tears.

“I’m not going to let you go,” I declared.

“Zayn, don’t be stupid,” he said, pulling himself away. He stood up and grabbed the gun from my hands. “Don’t be stupid like me,” he said, more to himself than to me. “There’s a stash in my drawer. If you could please keep it in a safe place as well as the other things in there,” he said, putting a hand on my shoulder. He smiled, albeit sadly.

“I’m going to bail you out, ok?” I promised.

“Oh Zayn, what have I told you about making promises you can’t keep. Don’t worry about me. I’ll probably meet some people in jail and, you know, do stuff. And then you have Lucy,” he said, glancing towards her. “Don’t blame yourself or Lucy for falling in love, and unfortunately, leaving me behind,” he chuckled. He inhaled deeply. “So… I guess this is goodbye.”

I nodded. I couldn’t trust my voice anymore. He waved goodbye and then walked the opposite way I just came in. There was a secret exit that way in case anyone thought there were any suspicious activities out here. Jared continued walking, and never once turned back. When he was out of sight, I crumpled down to the floor and let all the tears escape. Jared was my first real friend here; the only one who actually understood what it meant to be an outcast. I felt Lucy’s hand on my shoulder a few moments later.

Jared was gone. I sobbed and sobbed, and then I heard the bell ring. I wasn’t going to school today, I decided. I tried to hold the tears back long enough to speak. “Hey,” I said. “You can go ahead. I think I’ll just skip today.”

Lucy shook her head and I smiled sadly. She leaned her head against my shoulder and we sat there for the remaining of the school day. We watched the sun rise and heard the birds sing, but we both remained silent.

In a way, now that I think about it, we both lost something that day.

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