How We Met and Other Secrets

16-year-old Claire was always a nobody, until a world-famous boy band moves into her school, and it turns out that all five perfect boys have feelings for her! Which one does Claire pick, without hurting the others? Can she find true love with One Direction?

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9. Broken

Claire POV: I didn't want to go see Zayn but Niall made me. He said that Zayn was vulnerable right now because of a girl, and he needed as much support as possible. What Niall didn't know was that I was the girl that caused Zayn to do this to himself. I was almost positive it was me.
I was shaking when we got to the hospital. Hospitals always made me nervous. Patients were wheeled around with wires and tubes injected into them and I felt my heart rate rise. I looked straight ahead and clung to Niall's arm.
All the boys gathered into Zayn's room but I hung behind. I stood with my back against the cold, whitewashed wall of the hallway. The sterile lights and clean white floor felt like they were trapping me. An elderly lady in a wheelchair sat across the hall. She saw me and smiled weakly. I forced a smile back.
"Are you alright, darling?" she asked in a sweet voice.
All of a sudden I couldn't speak. Words got trapped in my throat. The fact that someone cared about me after so long just melted my heart. I slid down the wall and started to cry. When the old woman looked startled, I tried to wipe the tears away but they kept coming out until I was choking and gasping for air, the salty tears dripping onto my lips and their heat gushing onto my bare legs. I cried for the times I had sat alone at school, the times girls had made fun of me, all the times I had felt miserable. I don't remember the last time I had had a nice long cry. The tears gushed out faster and faster until the old lady wheeled herself over to me and placed a thin, bony hand on my quivering shoulder. I tried so hard to stop crying again, but without success. The warmth of her hand was enough to make me cry even harder. For a while she sat there with me, and it felt like forever. She was quickly taken away by a nurse, who glanced at me and then strode away.
I sniffled and then gathered myself. Thank God I hadn't worn much makeup today, I didn't look like a raccoon. I wiped away the tear stains quickly and then took a deep breath in. I opened the door of Zayn's hospital room.

Zayn looked small. Small and afraid and worried. I hoped no one would notice my red, puffy eyes and nose but I know they did. He looked me straight in the eye and I almost recoiled from the sharpness that he stared at me with. I slipped under Niall's arm and saw Zayn's expression change. I placed my hand on Niall's back affectionately and saw Zayn blink hard.
The boys had obviously already talked to him and were ready to leave. Harry led us out and we walked down to the lobby in silence. Niall opened his car door for me and I slipped in without a word. As we drove, Niall's hand escaped the wheel and put itself on my leg. I put my considerably smaller hand on top and wove my fingers in between his.

I didn't even know if I liked Niall, and now he was acting like we were dating. I guess he was cute, and sweet, and perfect boyfriend material. And even better, it was revenge on Rachel.

Niall took my back to his house. I knew my parents didn't mind because they nagged me for always studying. They would be perfectly happy if I slept over at a friend's house. They just didn't know that my friend happened to be a guy. A hot guy.

His keys jingled as he unlocked the front door and swung it open for me. I stepped inside and slipped my shoes off. Suddenly from behind Niall scooped me up off my feet and I let out a little laugh. He dropped me on the sofa and then sat next to me. He put in Finding Nemo and turned off the lights.
By the middle of the movie, I was as close to Niall as possible. My body was curved right around his and his arm was stroking my waist. The next thing I knew, he was kissing me.
My first thought was Zayn. But I tried to focus on Niall and pushed Zayn out of my head. Soon we were kissing rougher and I was straddling him.
I felt his hand go up my shirt. My heart pounded and I panicked. I didn't like Niall like that! Oh my God. What if he raped me?
His hand was already on the hook of my bra. I was just about to push his hand away when the blinding light switched on.
Harry stood at the door, obviously in shock. He almost looked hurt. He opened his mouth, gaping like a fish. He backed out the door.
Niall got up quickly and followed Harry out. I sat on the couch trying to rearrange my shirt. I calmed myself down a little and then crossed my legs and looked at my nails. My lips felt numb from kissing.
From the other room I heard a yell and then the inevitably sound of a punch. A yelp, and then another punch. And then silence. I got scared. I rose and hurried to the doorway.
Harry lay on the ground cowering while Niall was beginning to stand up, his fist at the ready. In the split second before I knew what was happening, I jumped out between the two boys.

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