♫ Life's Melody {1D Edition} ♫

Melody May Millington is a music geek. She's not drop dead gorgeous (at least she doesn't think so), not a member of the cheer squad (she's way too uncoordinated), and never won Prom Queen (not that she went to Prom-- she didn't get invited). She has a past that no one knows. She's always in the background, and doesn't mind it, at all.
Until she meets the wonder that is One Direction.
Will love blossom, or is it all about the music for Melody?
And what about when a jealous best friend enters the picture?
Friendships will be strained, relationships will be tested, and the truth will be revealed.
Read about it all in "Life's Melody {1D Edition}".

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4. ♪ Liam to the Rescue? ♪

I can’t believe this happening to me, little unknown Melody Millington from Maine. It’s all so surreal; almost impossible for me to grasp the concept that this is real life. I’m actually in England, right at this moment!

A strong gust of wind blowing interrupts my reverie. I’m used to cold temperatures from living in Maine all my life, but this is a new level, even for me. Paul ushers us out of the cold into a van, assuring us that the rest of the band is already at the hotel.

“The first show is on the 18th at Watford Coliseum,” he informs me.

My jaw hangs limp in disbelief, in what I assume to be a very unattractive manner, and my eyes widen to the size of saucers. “That’s in two days! I have yet to learn any of the material,” I panic. Oh gosh, I don’t think I can do this. Why did I follow the boys out of the school? There’s no way I’m good enough to perform in front of all those people. I don’t deserve to be on this tour; I didn’t even know who One Direction was until earlier today! Maybe I can just sneak away in the middle of the night and catch a plane home. But how am I going to pay for the ticket? I have no money whatsoever.  All I have to do is sell…

“Melody, calm down! You’re going to be fine,” Niall reassures me, placing his hands on my shoulders. I guess I zoned out while I was formulating my escape plan. Oops.

“Sorry,” I mumble meekly, shaking my head to clear my thoughts.

“Look on the bright side, you already know I Want, there’s only 13 songs left for you to learn!” Louis says enthusiastically, trying to encourage me, I think.

“13 songs in two days?” I reply warily, cocking my eyebrow in a manner that can only be classified as skeptical. Nope. There’s no way I can achieve that.

“We know you can do it, you aced I Want by your second try!”

“That was different.”

“How?”                                                                                                        

“Well, you know… I had to… and… you can’t forget about all the…” I trail off, avoiding everyone’s gaze.

Louis calls me out, “You didn’t finish a single sentence.”

I sigh in defeat and lay my head in my hands. “You’re right, but I still don’t think I can perfect all those songs in such limited time.”

“Your name is Melody; that has to mean something!” Louis protests stubbornly.

“My name has nothing to do with it.”

“On the contrary, the meaning of the name Melody, from Greek origin, means ‘music’."

"Zayn, how did you know that?" I ask, turning to look at him pointedly.

"I might have... err... looked it up..." he admits sheepishly.

"Only you, Zayn. Only you," Louis mumbles mockingly, shaking his dead slowly, a small, knowing, smile resting on his lips.

"Shut up! You were with me when we looked it up together," Zayn points out, outing Louis, who sneakily tried to blame everything on Zayn.

"Not true."

"Yes it is."

"No it’s not."

"Yes."

"No."

"Yes."

"No."

"Yes!"

"No!"

"YES!"

"N-"

"BOTH OF YOU SHUT UP!" Liam commands, leaning his head back on the chair and rubbing his temples. Louis and Zayn glance at each other in amusement, but sit down and stay silent for the rest of the ride.

"We're here," Paul calls.

I jump out of the van without thinking, and stretch out my aching limbs, stifling a yawn. Wow, I'm so immensely exhausted it even surprises me.

"Someone looks absolutely knackered," Louis comments, coming up behind me.

Knackered?

"It means tired, love." I guess he sees my perplexed expression, because he quickly enlightens me on his foreign vocabulary.

"Yeah, tired. I totally knew that," I bluff, turning around to hide my flushed cheeks.

"Melody, Louis, do not go running out like that again! What if the place was swarmed? You're lucky no fans are currently aware of your location," Paul reprimands sternly, frowning at us.

"Sorry," I mumble negligently, already half-asleep.

Paul leads us into the hotel, directing us to our rooms on the 7th floor. Niall and Liam, Louis and Harry are sharing a room, while Zayn is alone.

"Yes, I get Melody!" Zayn cheers, pumping his fist in the air.

"That's not fair, I want Melody." Louis protests, stomping his foot. “Harry, switch with Melody!”

While I stand there yawning like an idiot, seconds away from curling up and sleeping on the corridor floor, Paul intervenes the boys’ bickering. “None of you lads are sharing a room with Melody; she is a young lady and will be residing in her own room, away from you lot. Go to bed,” Paul commands, passing out the room keys. I groggily open my suite door and collapse onto the plush mattress, noting that my luggage is already in the room. Using all my strength, I pull my jeans off and change into my pajamas, kicking my Vans across the room and jumping back into bed. With a final yawn, my eyes flutter shut, my breathing evens, and I let my jetlag pull me under…

* * *

I silence the alarm on my phone and burrow deeper into my sheets per usual, knowing that within minutes Cody will come in and drag me out of bed and downstairs for breakfast with my brother. Minutes pass and there’s still no sign of Cody, nor a freezing bucket of water or some crappy rap music blasting into my ears. Confused, I sit up and look around the room, wondering why I’m in a hotel room. Hearing the boys’ distinct laughter outside makes me remember; I’m on tour with One Direction.

I had led myself to believe it was all a dream or a figment of my imagination, but in all actuality, it isn’t. I’m not in Maine anymore—I’m not even in America— and Cody isn’t here to wake me up and drive me to school. This is my life now and I have to perfect 13 songs in two days to perform in front of thousands of people. And that means I need to practice, but in order to practice, I have to get out of bed. Reluctantly, I walk to the bathroom and quickly freshen up, pausing to seek for my toothbrush at the bottom of my suitcase. Thank you so much, Brandon.  Checking the time on my phone, I realize I’m running late and rush to throw on an oversized knitted jumper and a pair of leggings. I take a hairband off my wrist, messily braid my hair down the side, and grab my room key, running towards the door. Stubbing my toe on the coffee table I realize I’m not even wearing shoes. “Crap, crap, crap,” I whisper under my breath, struggling to find a pair of socks and pulling on a pair of random gray Uggs. I’ll admit that they’re not exactly runway ready (then again, neither is the rest of my outfit or anything I’ve ever worn for that matter), but they’re warm and extremely comfortable. Besides, I’m just going to the studio to practice, so it’s not like I need to look good. Speaking of, I'm supposed to meet Paul in the lobby at, well, now.

Running down the hallway, oblivious to the stares I’m receiving, I jump into the elevator just as its doors are about to close. There are two other people already in: an old business looking type of man with lipstick stains over his face, and a young woman who looks to be a couple years older than me, wearing a bright colorful maxi dress and smudged fuchsia lipstick.

One word: Awkward.

I avert my gaze to the carpeted floor, suddenly feeling like my usual timid self. Squeezing my eyes shut, I leave them closed until the elevator reaches my level and I scan the lobby, looking for Paul.

“Melody, there you are,” Paul says, coming over to stand next to me. “Are you ready to go to the studio?”

I nod and follow him outside the hotel and into a van; it seems all we ever ride in are vans.

“This is Jon Shone, the music director for One Direction; he’ll be here to help you learn the songs,” Paul introduces, pushing me slightly towards Jon, who has one arm encased in a cast.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you,” he states, extending his free hand towards mine. He grips my hand and pumps it quickly. “We’ll have you performing these pieces like a pro in no time,” he promises, grinning widely.

“I hope so,” I reply, a small smile on my face, too shy to enquire about his other hand.

“I know so. Paul, you can go back to babysitting the boys,” he calls, laughing at Paul’s expense. I’ve only been around them for a day and it’s quite evident that Paul kind of does take on the role of their babysitter.

“Now back to business,” Jon declares once Paul has left, already walking towards his keyboard. He proceeds to guide me through each of the songs, explaining that the boys also include a medley of songs  into their set list. A while later I have each of the songs down pact, leaving Jon thoroughly impressed.

“You’re a right natural,” he praises, taking a swig from his second water bottle.

“Thank you.” Honestly, I don’t think I was that good; it was well enough, considering the uncomplicated tunes of the tracks, and we have been in her for two hours, seeing as it is now 9 o’clock.

“Let’s head back to the hotel and you can meet the rest of the band, they should be at breakfast by now.”

We walk down to the hotel, where we easily spot the boys joking around at the café.

“Melody, where have you been?” Louis queries when he sees me, stirring what I believe to be tea.

“We were practicing; she is now a master of each song!”

“Not a master…” I input, blushing furiously when all the boys turn to look at me, excluding Harry, who storms away.

Liam smiles at me apologetically; as if Harry’s rude behavior is on account of him. “Really, so what’s your favorite song?”

“Umm, I really like the slow song, I think it's called Moments?”

“Good choice,” he comments thoughtfully, nodding his head at my selection.

"That's my favorite too!" Louis exclaims, smiling at me.

“Have you met the rest of the band, as in instrumental?” Niall asks randomly.

“No, Jon actually took me up here to meet them, but we got sidetracked.”

“You have to meet Josh!”

He drags me to a tall brunette boy on the opposite side of the room.

“Josh, this is Melody, she’s our new keyboardist,” Niall enthuses.

“Hi, Melody. I’m Josh Devine, the boys’ drummer. Nice to meet you,”

“You too,” I reply skittishly, glancing around the room to avoid eye contact, kicking one boot-clad foot lazily.

“I’ll introduce you to the rest of the lads.”

Josh takes me to a table where Jon and two others were chatting and eating away.

“The one on the left is Sandy Beales, the bassist, and on the right is Dan Richards, the guitarist.”

I wave bashfully, blush creeping on my cheeks for no apparent reason.

“Have you eaten breakfast yet?” Sandy asks, after all formalities are out of the way.

“No, I went straight to rehearsal after I woke up,” I confess, just as a cry of protest comes from my abdomen.

I stand up and walk to the buffet table, surveying all the available choices. Yum, banana and cream cheese crepes, oh and French toast! My favorite. Grabbing the little bottle on the edge of the table, I douse my plate in syrup and top it off with powdered sugar. Louis motions for me to come over and sit with him, Louis and Niall staring at my plate as soon as I set it down on the table. I take a sip from my hot chocolate, smiling in delight. I’m not much of a coffee person, but I love a good cup of hot cocoa.

“Nice outfit.” Zayn smirks at me as he looks me up and down.

“I know right?” I reply sarcastically, stuffing another forkful of crepes down my throat.

“What’s wrong?” Liam asks, noting the pout that suddenly takes over my features.

“I need more sugar…”

“Really, more?” Zayn challenges.

“I’ll get you some!” Louis cries, jumping up from his seat.

“What a strange child,” I mutter to myself, yet grateful at the same time.

“So, what are we doing today?” Niall asks Liam.

“You have an interview as soon as you’re done with breakfast,” Paul says, popping up behind the boys. I choke on my French toast in surprise, Zayn hurries to slap me on the back lightly. Gulping down my hot chocolate, I don’t even pay attention to its scorching temperature. “Paul, don’t scare me like that!”

“Sorry, Melody.”

“I see your smile, Paul.”

“Right, so anyways, you lot have an interview, let’s get going,” Paul changes the subject, coughing subtly.

“What about Melody? Are we just going to leave her here all alone?”

“Well, I was planning on taking her, considering I’m in charge of her,” Paul admits, rolling his eyes.

“Actually, I was wondering if I could stay back and—”

“Nope, you’re coming. Come on.”

“Honestly, I have to unpack and—”

Louis lifts me up and slings me over his shoulder as if I’m some ragdoll.

“What the fudge?!”

Everyone gives me questionable looks on my word choice.

“What? I don’t like swearing.”

“Aww, how precious. Melody is so innocent,” Louis coos.

“Shut up, Louis. And let me down.”

“Gladly.” He drops me onto a seat in guess what?

The van.

* * *

I sit in a chair while the boys complete their interview and trust me; it’s not as fun as it sounds. I play around on my new phone—I had to buy a UK one for obvious reasons— checking the time every few minutes. This is their third interview and I’m feeling substantially blasé. As I stare at my phone screen, an unsettling thought occurs to me. I had never called Brandon, when I promised him I would call him as soon as I landed in England. And Cody; Cody isn’t even aware that I’m on tour!

“Paul, is it alright if I step outside and take some calls?”

He nods and sends me away.

Who should I call first? Cody is my best friend since birth, but Brandon is my legal guardian, not to mention blood family. Shakily, I dial his number, anxious as to what his reaction will be.

“Melody, is this you? Why haven’t you called? I was worried sick!”

“I’m sorry,” I whisper, meekly.

Brandon sighs on the other side and his tone softens. “It’s fine, just don’t do it again. I was really worried, but Cody is frantic. When he found out you left he was depressed, he hasn’t come over since."

“I’ve only been gone for a day!”

“He’s your best friend, not mine. I just know how close you two are…”

“You’re right; if this situation we’re reversed, I’d be shocked, because Cody can’t hold a tune to save his life, but all joking aside, I would feel horrible…”

“What are you still on the phone with me for? Call him, just ring me again before you go to bed, and we can talk then.”

“Bye, I love you,” I say, fighting back tears. I’ve not been gone for two days yet and I’m already homesick.

“Love you two, sis. Now go.”

I hang up and close my eyes, gaining the strength to type in Cody’s familiar number. The line rings, and rings, and rings…

“Who is it?” He croaks; just the sound of his voice unleashes another slew of unshed tears.

“Melody,” I reply hesitantly, cautiously.

“What do you want?” he snarls, sending shivers down my spine.

“I’m sorry…” I feel a professed sense of deja-vu.

“You board a plane to a different country without bothering to tell me and all you can say is ‘sorry’? I thought I was supposed to be your best friend; we tell each other everything!”

“I know, but I fell asleep and then I had to go to rehearsals—”

“I’ve got to go,” he cuts me off, ending the call just like that.

I scream in frustration and lean against the brick wall, letting a few tears escape my eyes. I sit there clutching my phone for I don’t know how long until someone settles down next to me.

“Melody, what’s wrong?”

I look up and see Liam staring down at me, worriedly.

“Nothing, I’m fine.”

“Obviously you’re not fine if you’re sitting out here crying,” Liam reasons, slinging an arm around my shoulder.

“I got into a fight with my best friend… its silly really…” my voice cracks and more tears threaten to flow.

Traitors.

“Shh, don’t cry; it’s alright. It’ll all work out,” Liam whispers lowly, pulling my body against his side. I sniffle and nod, resting my head on his shoulder. We sit in a comfortable silence.

“Let’s get out of here,” he says suddenly, swiftly standing up and extending his hand to me.

“What do you mean?” I question, craning my neck to look up at him.

“We should just go out somewhere, I’m sure it’ll make you feel better.”

“Like where?”

“I don’t know… anywhere.”

I grab his hand and allow him to pull me up.

“How are we going to get anywhere without anyone noticing we’ve taken the car?” I ask skeptically, noting all the plans in Liam’s plan.

“We’ll walk.” he clasps my petite hands in his own large ones and begins walking down the street. Liam hides his hair underneath his hood and stops at a store to purchase a new pair of sunglasses.

“Now that you’re ‘disguised’, where do you want to go?”

“I haven’t thought that far ahead,” he admits. “Why don’t we just go for a walk? Clear your mind?”

And we do just that.

As Liam guides me around trails and through parks, I don’t think of Cody or our call once, my mind filled with nothing but mine and Liam’s conversations.  He doesn’t seem to regard or mind that I’m still in the outfit I threw on in 10 minutes this morning, and even stops to take pictures of us; by the waterfront, sitting on a bench, or even just eating ice cream. I find the entire afternoon comforting and am touched that Liam would bother to help me.

“Thank you, you have no idea how much I appreciate today.” I stand on my tiptoes and wrap my arms around Liam’s frame in gratitude.

“I’ll always be there for you, Melody…”

“I know, thank you for that.” I peck him on the cheek and walk into my hotel room, shutting the door gently.

Remembering my previous promise, I quickly call Brandon and assure him that I’m alive and breathing, setting up a date to Skype soon. As I lay in bed, another shot of worry settles in the bottom of my stomach, and Liam isn’t here to walk me through it.

Tomorrow is the first concert.

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